Today I’m bringing you a slice- or should I say loaf- of nostalgia.
When I think of meatloaf, I picture June Cleaver or Betty Draper serving one alongside an icy cold martini, Pleasantville-style. Frankly, in my mind’s eye, the meatloaf doesn’t look that appetizing- after all, during this era Jell-o Salads (barf) and the “Candle Salad” (yiiiiikes) were the height of sophistication.
We’ve come a long way, baby.
Questionable salads aside, on the eve of this American election I find myself a visitor to the United States and am being bombarded with a lot of ‘Make America Great Again’ signage. I won’t get political on the blog… not too much at least.
All I wanna say, my lovely American friends, is this: nostalgia is a lie. It’s a dirty, stinkin’ lie.
The ‘good old days’ were never actually as good as they exist in our memories. We have always had problems. Hopefully, we’re learning from our problems and moving forward, but it’s never a great idea to aspire to a false memory viewed through rose-coloured glasses. No matter how much we love Norman Rockwell, we can all agree there were a lot of issues hidden behind those soda fountains, right? (unless, perhaps, you were a white male in which case, yeah, I guess it did seem pretty good)
To use a personal anecdote, I recently looked back over some old Facebook pictures I was tagged in. A trip to South Africa! Road trips with my sister! Oh man, GOOD TIMES.
Except, nope, they weren’t. I mean, they were, but at the time I was going through some real personal hell, so reaaaallly, my mind is blocking out all that garbage and just keeping the good parts.
This is a great thing our brain does! It makes us happy!
But it’s not real. It’s not the whole picture. Would I go back to that moment in time, knowing the whole story behind those really fun adventure photos (anxiety, depression, unemployment, etc.)… NOPE. Was the trip to South Africa amazing? Yes. Do I want to be back in 2008? No.
Ok, I veered off track here. And I did get political.
All I’m saying is- eat this meatloaf! There were a lot of good things back in the day, but not everything was great. Let’s ditch the Candle Salads and institutional racism and keep the things that were- and are- excellent. Like really, really, really tasty meatloaf and… … … I’ll think of another thing eventually.
Old-School? Yes. This meatloaf is not gourmet, it doesn’t feature sun-dried tomatoes, nor is it gluten-free or vegetarian. But it is delicious! Moist, tender, finger licking amazing. Serve with a side of mashed potatoes and some veg (frozen peas if you don’t hate them like I do), and an icy cold martini.
Except get your partner or friend to make the martini for you, you cooked dinner after all.
|Old-School Meatloaf|| |
- 3 slices bread, crumbled
- ½ cup carrot, grated
- ⅔ cup onion, grated
- 1 cup cheddar, grated
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup milk
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ lbs. lean ground beef
- ½ cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp French's prepared yellow mustard
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all meatloaf ingredients except the beef together (if you have a food processor, use the grater attachment for this step- SO FAST, SO EASY). Add beef in and mix until just combined. Transfer meatloaf mixture to an ungreased, standard loaf pan and gently press down the top to ensure the loaf is solid throughout. Bake for 45 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine all glaze ingredients. Remove meatloaf from oven and spread glaze over the top of the meatloaf. Place loaf pan on top of a large baking sheet (just in case the odd bit overflows!) and return it to the oven for another 45 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes and veggies.