|Not My Mama’s Meat Loaf|
The last 5 days found me on the East coast celebrating family. It began in Philly where my husband, son and I picked up our daughter before heading up north of NYC. Special doesn’t begin to describe what it is when a family comes together that has been apart. Well, it might not seem so important to them, but to a mother who still hasn’t gotten over her kids leaving home, it was very heartwarming. Our lives have been kind of stressful for awhile and this was one way to set that all aside and focus on what is really important. Family makes me feel whole. It allows me to center on what is right in the world and lets me feel that everything will turn out OK. If the kids are happy, then at least for a little while, I can set my cares aside and zero in on what is good.
This was a good eating trip. My daughter made sure of that. We started at the Szechuan Hans Dynasty near U Penn and had a spicy, mouthwatering experience. My son and husband thought they were back in China. My husband had to have beef tendons which were like shaved thin slices of cellophane in an extremely spicy hot, though the dish was cold, sauce. My son had fried potatoes fried with a bazillion, really a bazillion, red hot chili peppers and some star anise. He said he has never found them in the states before. And then we had the Dan Dan noodles which were my favorite. My mouth is salivating right now. The potstickers were superb and the chicken with vegetables and garlic and hot peppers was fresh and full of flavor. Please Hans, consider Denver. I beg you!
The next day we left for New York and the Bar Mitzvah that awaited us. This is what I can say as a fact. New Yorkers are over the top. Denver seems sedate compared to this party. I haven’t danced like that since their last Bat Mitzvah. And that was good because I have a lot of calories to work off. They began the partay with a sushi bar and all the junk food goodies. Fries and lamb chops and mini tacos and I guess I can’t remember in detail, because I think I was already on my second lemon drop martini. Dinner was healthy halibut, but dessert was mini style hostess hohos and dingdongs and donuts. Like I said, it was amazing. But seeing family is over the top in my book and it’s too bad we don’t live closer!
So after that and the Sleepy Hollow cemetery, well, someone has to visit, we headed back to Philly. We did manage to rub Andrew Carnegie’s headstone and William Rockefeller’s for good luck, of course. And we saw Washington Irving’s, too. There were lots of folks buried there and we wished them all well. It was a beautiful spot, high on a hill. Definitely a good view for eternity.
Sunday found my son quickly hopping the train into the Big Apple where he finished his weekend eating at Momofuku. Lucky boy. I think I taught him well. We drove with my daughter back to Philly and had a quiet evening alone with her in her cute little studio. She took my husband for burgers and as I don’t eat burgers, I had a shrimp sandwich. We then watched The Apprentice and off to bed until we ate a really awesome breakfast. The potatoes were killer and I love potatoes.
Got back to Denver safely to arrive in freezing cold blowing snow. This is ridiculous to have weather like we’ve had at the end of April. But today looks gorgeous outside and the grass is very green. We might even have managed to avoid a drought, but I doubt it. And after all that crazy eating we felt like something comforting. And when I want comfort I usually think mashed potatoes. And if I think mashed potatoes I then think meat loaf. Now this isn’t my mama’s meat loaf. My mom did the onion soup variety with ketchup and I think she used Heinz chili sauce but this is not a verified fact.
I decided to try something different. A while ago we ate in one of those hip breakfast spots where they used cereal in their meat loaf. Kid’s cereal. Now the waitress didn’t know for sure how they did it, but this meat loaf had a pleasant, sweet, salty taste and it wasn’t heavy. They sliced it and lightly floured it and used it as a bed for fried eggs and potatoes. Well, this got me thinking. I do too much of that, really. But I decided to go buy me some Cap’n Crunch and experiment. I must admit, I really liked this meatloaf. Just like I took a leap of faith on baking that last cake, you’ll have to trust me on this. Yeah, it sounds really weird. (Kind of like sweet gefilte fish weird), but it is really good. And if you don’t want to use the Cap’n, you can always use oh so boring bread.
Not My Mama’s Meat Loaf (Serves 4-5)
Time to Make: About 90 total, 15 minutes active
1 1/2 c Cap’n Crunch plus 1/3 c for mixing in or 3 slices crumbled bread
2/3 c milk
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
1/3 c chopped onion
1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese
19 oz ground turkey or use 1 1/2 ground beef for turkey and pork
4 oz ground pork
1/4 c ketchup
1/4 c brown sugar
1 T prepared mustard
Crush 1 1/2 c Cap’n Crunch. Let soak in 2/3 c milk until soggy, about 15 minutes. Add beaten eggs and seasonings and onions. Add 3/4 cheese and turkey and pork. Stick your hands in and mush it around. Add 1/3 c uncrushed Cap’n Crunch. Now take a tiny spoonful, put it in a dish and put in microwave for about 20 seconds. Taste it. If you need to add more seasonings, this is the time.
Shape into a loaf in a 2 qt baking dish. Mix ketchup, brown sugar and mustard and spread on top and sides of loaf. Top with 1/4 c of remaining cheese. Bake at 350 for about an hour. If you use turkey this may create a lot of meat juice. I just pour it off about halfway through so the sides of the loaf bake, not steam!
This is a good one. The rabbit catcher husband liked the tiny bits of sweet crunch that the whole cereal provides. Give this a try!
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