When my kids were little, I mentioned to Carolyn that we should make meatloaf. Immediately, the three voices of my children rose as one in a disgusted moan, "Not meatloaf."
They had never had meatloaf before. They just didn't like the sound of it. After they tried it, of course, they demanded it.
When I tell people I love meatloaf, the younger, less mature ones sometimes suggest, with clichéd cleverness: "Well, why don't you marry it?"
Actually, I kind of did.
Let me share my wife's very simple directions for what I believe is the World's Finest Meatloaf. Here, in her words, is the secret recipe: "I use a pound each of pork, beef & lamb. I use my hands to mix it with 2 eggs, about a cup of bread crumbs, and a sautéed mixture of one onion, a few garlic cloves, half a diced green pepper, and several generous splashes of Worcester sauce. Then I shape it into a loaf on a greased cookie sheet and drape it with strips of bacon. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes then baste with a great BBQ sauce (I used Uncle Dougie's Sneaky Spicy). Bake for another 30 minutes and serve with more sauce on the side."
Cheryl Knecht Muñoz of Sugar Beet suggested that we "add a splash of apple cider vinegar... and bake it in a cast-iron pan to capture the pan drippings for a kick-ass gravy."
I'm guessing vinegar adds just a touch of tongue-perking tartness – and catching pan drippings seems always a worthwhile pursuit.
Meatloaf is such a beloved dish, that one of my readers actually hallucinated eating meatloaf at Marion Street Bar + Kitchen, where it is not actually served.
Meatloaf is a homey dish. It never seems quite right to order it when dining out. But why not? Do you have a favorite local spot for meatloaf?