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The Meat

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Good morning, foodie friends.

It’s May, which means foraging for morels and cooking with asparagus and spring peas. But this cold, damp weather has me reaching for my family’s comfort food staple, meatloaf.

I wish I could share my go-to meatloaf recipe with you, but I can’t. Not because it’s a sworn-to-secrecy family recipe (my mother is an excellent cook, but her meatloaf is … well …) but because I have no recipe. My meatloaf is an unloading-of-the-pantry kind of thing.

Basically, I start with ground turkey, (we’ve pretty much omitted ground beef in our household since the cholesterol scare of 2017) add two eggs, a piece of bread torn apart, some kind of liquid,  (be it a fancy barbecue sauce, marinade or just plain old Italian dressing) a can of diced tomatoes, garlic, bread crumbs and any kind of herbs/spice mix I have on hand. My meatloaf is like the snowflakes we’ve all unfortunately seen this month — no two are exactly the same.

“But Lindsey, you must have some kind of winning formula?” Sure, there are some spices and sauces I like to use best. But when I don’t have those on hand, I just wing it, making this one of my favorite weeknight dishes. Usually, I mix up the meatloaf in the morning, put it in the loaf pan and stick it in the fridge until I get home after work. Then it goes in the oven at 375 F covered, for 50 minutes. Next, I uncover, add some kind of sauce, and bake for another 10 minutes. The topping might be a can of tomato soup, or sometimes a tangy sauce made of 1 1/2 cups ketchup, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon dry mustard and Tabasco to taste.

If you’re looking for a little more structure, perhaps try Robin Anish’s turkey and apricot meatloaf or Margaret Button’s favorite bacon cheeseburger meatloaf.

But here’s to hoping this weather warms up soon, and we can start talking about grilling hot dogs and mixing up pasta salads.

Stay dry!
Lindsey Hollenbaugh
Managing editor of Features

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