Monday, August 27, 2007

You'll Eat It and You'll Like It.

Randy, in the movie, A Christmas Story, complained, "Meat loaf, smeat loaf, double beet loaf, I hate meat loaf."

I'm with the kid on this one.

Meat loaf is an abominable dish. Perfectly good ground beef that could be better served in chili, spaghetti, or even with Hamburger Helper, is ruined through the addition of marginal ingredients, a round of manual squeezing into the "loaf" and being baked until the DNA in the scattered bits of meat has been chemically changed into something "else".

I catch plenty of hell for this view. I bristle when Patti suggests that I cook it for dinner. She really loves the stuff. She orders it in restaurants. I suppose that eating meat loaf for some is a ritual that binds families like so many old eggs and stale bread slices. Not for me. I've had my fill of meatloaf.

It was in my family's dinner rotation at least once a week in the colder months, usually on a Thursday. This meant back-to-back clunker meals. Friday meant no meat. We weren't flying in sushi grade yellowfin tuna in those days. It was salmon patties, tuna salad, macaroni & cheese, or fish sticks. But, you had to hand it to dear old Mom who could feed the four of us on a few bucks a week and work miracles with what was available. Even so, I feel no sense of nostalgia for those meals spawned from a somewhat limited budget and a depression era mentality.

Sure. I can make meatloaf, but why? Mom didn't even fix it after the kids moved out.

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