Friday, January 30, 2009

The Maturity of Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes And Green Beans

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
2 eggs
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

Mashed Potatoes:

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.
Serve immediately.

Green Beans:

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)

Serve immediately.


Bella@That damn expat said...

That's true, our tastes evolve with time.
For me it was seafood.

Dr Zibbs said...

I used to love my mom's meatloaf as a kid but won't eat it now because she puts bacon on it and it's dripping in grease.

Bill Stankus said...

When I lived in a college dorm, meatloaf was the preferred item for starting food fights in the cafeteria. A lump of that stuff could dent the average fiberglass tray. It was difficult to throw mash potatoes - they just didn't have the heft for long distance tossing.

SouthernBelle said...

You're so right, except about brussel sprouts. I fear I will never be food-mature enough for those.

B.E. Earl said...

Absolutely true!!!

I used to hate *HATE* meatloaf when I was a kid. Now it's something I actively crave.

Anonymous said...

I was always a meatloaf fan as a kid, my brother hated it, so I can relate to the aforementioned comments. The good thing about him hating it was that I got to eat his too.... LOL

A recipe for meatloaf, I make it often, each one different to the last; depends what is lingering in the fridge.


TROLL said...

You writes good. Enjoyed this post and the 84 post a lot. Both brought back memories. I was raised under-a-bridge in the Everglades and not a leafy Bahstahn Burb but have similar memories.

I called you a "kid" at TTR based on your picture. Turns out you're from the same generation as Mr. Troll.

TROLL said...

1 pound market ground beef
2 ounces chopped Havarti Jalopeno
6 ounces finely ground BBQ pork rinds
4 stalks chopped celery
2 thickly sliced sweet onions
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 lightly beaten egg
2 sliced potatos. (boil for 15 minutes before slicing.

Line lightly greased Baking dish with taters on bottom, then onion, then celery.

Combine all other ingredients and mold into meat-loaf form and place on top of potato, celery and onion.

The result a 4 layer meal I call Troll Loaf. If you do it perfectly, all layers remain intact for slicing. If not, it's still flavorful.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Troll! I love it! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

Isn't it true that after a certian age Saturday night becomes not so much about where you are going to go but more about where you are going to go to eat!

Joe D. said...

Believe it or not my palette hasn't changed all that much from my youth. Call me a weird child but I always liked veggies and fruit.

Since you to cook can I expect a home cooked meal if I ever come to Boston lol?

Heff said...

Now, how in the HELL did you know I hated Meatloaf as a child ? For the record, I don't like his more recent albums, either. LMAO !!

TishTash said...

Liking brussel sprouts? That's so adult! Perish the thought. What's next? Starting a 401k?

Gwen said...

You won't be surprised to find that I have not yet matured enough to eat meatloaf and I'm not likely to ever eat it. I like the taste of almost all foods but have texture problems with many. The texture of meatloaf makes me . . . eh, you like it so I won't go there but suffice it to day it is bad.

Scope said...

I have always loved meatloaf. And to freak everyone out, the next day, a cold meatloaf sandwich on white bread with more ketchup!

And to my fellow lovers of what, in Belgium, are merely called, "sprouts", Bird's Eye makes frozen single serving microwaveable bags of them now. How do I know? Just polished off a set between paragraphs.

Julia@SometimesLucid said...

What a GREAT comparison between our tastes maturity and us maturing.

Poobomber said...

I have never had meatloaf before - but damn, that looks good!

katrocket said...

You're so right Candy, although I think I might love meatloaf now because even though my mom was a great cook, her meatloaf recipe was sub-par in comparison to the one I use nowadays. But in her defense, she never had access to 24hour cooking shows on the Food Network when I was a kid. It took a lot of experimenting to get it right. I'm gonna give your recipe a try next time!...Troll's recipe sounds good too.

Fancy Schmancy said...

Good lord, my mother's meatloaf was horrendous! And no matter what recipe I try, if I make it at home my son hates it and I get heartburn. However, Boston Market makes a meatloaf and mashed potatoes and gravy that are heavenly - don't forget the creamed spinach! Even the frozen version that I can pick up in the grocery store is my go-to quick dinner when I need comfort food...

Cowguy said...

Man I dunno... I've always loved meatloaf. I want some right now. :-)

pure evyl said...

A good Meatloaf Sandwich is one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast.

~E said...

I personally think that all it takes is a really good version of something you used to not like in order to convert you.