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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mom's Meatloaf

I have a friend from Switzerland who is living here in Canada for a few years. I love all the yummy Swiss chocolate she brings me and I enjoy finding things from Canada to share with her. Every once in awhile my sense of humour is lost in translation (though this happens to other Canadians too) but for the most part I think we have more in common than not. I will miss her (and plan to visit LOTS) when she leaves :)

The other day, a group of us were standing in the school yard watching our boys play after school when another friend said she was looking forward to dinner because she had made meatloaf. She was so excited about the comfort food to come - and the leftover meatloaf sandwich she was planning to have for lunch the next day. Meatloaf is like that. Then our Swiss friend asked - "where do you buy meatloaf? I've been looking all over for it. At home you can get it in almost every grocery store". The first Mom and I looked at each other in shock. We have all bought pre-made comfort food. I am particularly partial to President's Choice Mac and Cheese. But it had NEVER occurred to me - and clearly not to our other friend - to BUY meatloaf. It's just so easy and so ..... homemade.

Then we started discussing recipes and how we make it and promised to send our versions ASAP. It is fall. Comfort food is needed. And meatloaf is essential. As are leftover meatloaf sandwiches. Though I prefer mine hot, not cold. I'm weird. Sue me.

My recipe, and my mother's, and my grandmother's, comes from a Mennonite cookbook that was published in my home town of St. Marys Ontario. I've made a few alterations when my cupboard did not provide the essentials, and my grandmother has been known to make it with ground moose meat when my uncle has had a good hunting season. But good old ground beef is the standard.

St. Marys Meatloaf

2 lbs ground beef
1/4 cup onions, finely chopped (I like to saute these in butter until softened first)
1 cup oatmeal, crushed crackers (goldfish work well) or breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt
1 egg beaten
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp mustard
1 1/4 cup ketchup (or 1 can tomato paste)
1 cup tomato juice
worchestershire sauce to taste
My grandmother lines the top of hers with bacon slices and then decorates with ketchup. This is optional, but yummy :) 

Mix everything together thoroughly (with your hands is best, remove rings first!) and pack lightly into loaf pan. Bake in preheated 350'F oven for 1 hour or until meat thermometer registers 170'F. Let stand for 5 minutes, drain fat in pan, turn out onto a plate and cut into thick slices. Enjoy leftovers on challa bread the next day...if there are any!

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