Friday, December 13, 2002
I am on a quest to find The Perfect Meatloaf Recipe.
Yes, if the universe was comfort food, then I would be its James T. Kirk, my mission to seek out new recipes, and new meatloaves ... To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before.
I know. The words "rich inner life" also crossed my mind after I wrote that.
Last night I tried out the meatloaf recipe my mom-in-law used to use. The problem with any recipe from my mom-in-law, though, is that she cooks by instinct and so she doesn't measure a lot of stuff. Many of her recipes are more guesstimates than actual recipes.
So I mixed together the lean ground beef, eggs, seasonings, onions, green pepper, oatmeal, tomato juice and celery. I patted it into my loaf pan. I put it in the oven of my woodstove and went upstairs to work. The delicious smell of comfort food permeated the house.
At the allotted time, I pulled the pan out of the oven and grandly waved it under the spousal unit's nose.
"Are you sure it's cooked?" he asked, eyeing it nervously. It DID look a lot more pink than one wants a meaty treat to look, so I put it back in the oven for another 20 minutes. When I fished it out again, I could see the sides were burning and the rest of it was still very pink.
"Must be the tomato juice," I ventured.
With visions of death by E. coli dancing in my head, I put it on the counter and got out my knife. After all, we are talking meatLOAF here, as in something which can be sliced. I plunged the knife into the meatloaf and was met with a texture I can only describe as glutinous.
I dropped my knife and picked up a serving spoon. I scooped out a helping of my meatloaf, deposited it on the plate and it immediately collapsed into a blob, spreading over the plate.
Yes, I had before me a food item that looked as if it would poison me AND as an extra, added bonus it tended to ooze.
The spousal unit and I both went heavy on the veggies and salad.
Hesitantly we raised forkfuls of the Incredibly Alarming Meatloaf to our mouths. It was disgusting. The texture was wrong, the colour unnerving and it just plain tasted bad. We choked down our helpings because after all food, is food.
"I think we should pitch it," I said after we were done eating.
The spousal unit was indignant. If there is one thing he hates, it's wasting food. "I'll put it in the fridge. Maybe we can think of some way to fix it tomorrow."
I informed him he was on his own.
This morning, as every morning, we sat eating our breakfasts while our two cats stared at us intently and willed us with all their might to fill their food bowls with their morning treat of soft canned food. They KNOW the rule is that cats eat after people, but every morning they stare intently at us, hoping that THIS will be the morning the universe will unfold as they feel it should.
His breakfast done, the spousal unit sauntered over to the fridge to get the can of catfood. He realized he must have fed them the last of that can yesterday, so it was time to get them a fresh can.
At that moment I Had My Epiphany. It was one of those moments of pure insight a person never forgets.
"Why don't you give the cats some of the meatloaf?" I asked casually.
A grimace of disgust crossed the spousal unit's face. "I can't do that to the cats," he said. "It would be mean."
I started to laugh. He started to laugh. Then he said he thought they wouldn't eat it. I coaxed him to put a big spoonful of The Incredibly Alarming Meatloaf into each cat's dish, just to see what would happen.
The cats tore over to their dishes as they do every morning, their tails up in the air, little masts of pure kitty joy. They bent down to gobble their morning treat and paused abruptly.
They began to sniff The Incredibly Alarming Meatloaf intently.
It was Zubby who took the first courageous nibble. To our amazement, not only did he proceed to gobble his portion, he pushed Zoe out of her bowl and gobbled down her helping.
More Incredibly Alarming Meatloaf was dispensed for both cats and their plates were licked clean.
Yes, thanks to my epiphany, peace has been restored. The spousal unit is happy because food is not being wasted. I am happy because I do not have to gag down another mouthful of the Incredibly Alarming Meatloaf. My cats are happy because they are eating what they consider to be a major treat.
Oh, man, I just had a thought. Can you imagine how unspeakably gross cat food must be if they consider the Incredibly Alarming Meatloaf a treat?
Better not to think about it, eh.
P.S.--If you're doing any of your Christmas shopping at Amazon this year, why not do it through Blue Sphere? Five per cent of what you spend will be donated by Amazon to Blue Sphere, and will be given to the Foster Parents Plan of Canada.
Yep, you get to make a large corporation cough up five per cent of its profits AND at no cost to yourself you get to help some poor kids out. What's not to love about that, eh?
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Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -
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