I believe the roots of maturity can be linked to the time that you realize that meatloaf is not what you thought it to be. What used to be the worst, most disgusting food on the planet, you suddenly find yourself deciding that instead, it's quite good. Meatloaf night, as a kid, was a fate worse than death, but you somehow managed to hide most of it, undetected, under the mashed potatoes and went straight to dessert. Then somewhere along the way, you and your taste buds graduated to appreciate it for what it is, a wholesome yet tasty comfort food.
The gateway through meatloaf can take you on a crash course of other previously denounced cuisines. All at once you begin exploring food options that at one time were off limits. Fish? Might not be so bad. Spinach? Essential and pure; as well as other veggies-cauliflower, carrots, peas and brussel sprouts. The mature mind becomes hungry for the goodness it has been missing.
Once the floodgates of meatloaf maturity are opened, there's no stopping one from tasting any and all obscure food choices. The palate is now the scholar and the education, inviting and challenging, with more than a few surprises along the way. Pea soup, eggs, mushrooms, oysters, salmon, tomato juice, even tongue. One thinks, "If meatloaf didn't kill me, maybe these aren't so bad. I'm mature now and I'll try it, at least."
My children are just on the cusp. They will eat half of the meatloaf , mashed potatoes and green beans on their plate, yet still ask for dessert. Upon inspection, I find no meatloaf under the potatoes, but they are still young and time is on their side. They will, however, try new foods. Sushi and spinach among the list of things they now like. They are in the infancy stages of this new found maturity. If only psychological maturity were this easy.
I offer you my favorite recipes for Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans:
2 lbs. 85% lean ground beef
1 cup oats
1 1/4 cup ketchup
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Pre-heat oven to 350.
Mix ingredients in a large bowl until all ingredients are incorporated.
Place mixture into a 9x5 loaf pan.
Bake 1 hour 15 minutes
Peel and cut into quarters 8-10, white potatoes. (Number of potatoes can vary according to servings)
Boil potato quarters in rapidly boiling water until wedges are soft enough to stick a fork through easily.
Drain potatoes and mash in bowl.
Add 3/4 of a stick of butter-cut into pieces-
salt to taste (about a 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup milk
Mix with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.
Steam 4 cups cut up green beans (till tender when pierecd with fork) in microwave or on stovetop-according to stovetop steamer directions and/or microwave directions.
Drain beans and put in serving bowl.
Add 2-3 TBSP butter and mix until melted.
Top off with garlic salt to taste. (about 1/2 teaspoon)