"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

All about my meatloaf

by Julie Tilsner on September 22, 2009

in Adventures in Parenting, Kid Food, Dinner


I wasn’t imagining it. They weren’t eating. I don’t know what they were living on, but the nits were not eating my dinners. Not even the trusted standbys.


It was time for drastic measures. It was time to try meatloaf.

If there’s a more home-style, all-American comfort food, I don’t know about it.

Time to open the door to housewifery and embrace my inner June Cleaver. Just for tonight. OK, and for the occasion I gave myself permission to drink the better part of a bottle of Bella Sera by myself.

Cook’s of course had a recipe the commentators said was the tastiest they’d ever had. I believed them. Here’s the recipe:

1 1/2 lbs ground beef

1 cup fresh Italian bread crumbs (I had panko, so I used that instead)

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 8-pounce can of tomato sauce

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup water or beef stock

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup Parmesan

In a medium bowl, combine the tomato sauce, ketchup, Balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and water or beef stock. Don’t show this to the kids.

In a big bowl, combine the beef, bread crumbs, onion, bell pepper, parsley, garlic, egg, seasonings and smush it with your hands until combined. Add 3/4 of the tomato mixture and the Parmesan.

Form this into a loaf by putting it into a meatloaf pan (which has been lightly oiled) and pour remaining tomato mixture over it. Bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour and 15 minutes, basting it occasionally with ketchup or your preferred BBQ sauce.

Serve with smashed potatoes.

I made the mashed potatoes while midway through my bottle and holding an animated conversation with a girlfriend on the phone (headsets are handy!). Everything was going fine until my hand slipped and I poured way too much milk in. Whipping furiously almost worked. At least my less-than-fluffy smashies were created without so much as a glance at a how-to. I think I’m learning the basics. Now if I can learn consistency…

I digress. How was the loaf received by the nits?

Three stars. “It was OK,” said the boy.

“It was OK,” said the Drama Tween.

They ate half of their plates, which is a good deal more than what they had been eating, and, considering it was a new taste sensation for them, not a bad sign at all.

Meatloaf is made greatly better after a day or two in the fridge.

Don’t bother microwaving your smashies, tho.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

LWH September 22, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Mama pyjama. I had no idea meatloaf could be that textured, that nuanced, that . . . incandescent. Kudos, BHC. Paradise by the microwave light, indeed.


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