Growing up, Mom did most of the cooking. However, I do remember a few meals, specifically, Dad pulled together on special nights, when it was just the three of us: me, my older sis, and Dad – Shorty, Lovebug, and Dad.
Great memories those evenings supplied.
In my mind, Dad is famous for cooking two items ~ his specialities:
- “oom-la-suage.” Yes, you read that correctly. Basically, shit on a shingle. Cream of mushroom soup mixed with canned tuna, hot, over toast. It’s actually incredibly delicious…or it was. I believe this could also be refereed to as an Irishman’s delight.
- Meatloaf. This was truly a treat. I remember watching as he crumbled and crushed the Keebler Club Crackers and mixed and mashed the ingredients by hand, waiting those precious few minutes for the flavors to meld and mold before “loafing” the mixture in the baking pan and popping it in the oven.
These days Dad doesn’t often make meatloaf. He’s the steak master, for sure. Although, as we’ve been talking lately, he seems to be crafting in the kitchen once again.
I may have inspired him when I requested this recipe, as the following day he informed me he made his famous pudding: vanilla pudding with chunks of Snickers bars ~ he always did love Snickers.
He also loves to laugh – and to make others laugh. THIS made me laugh and cry and giggle with nostalgic delight.
I have a couple of questions, Dad.
Why does your stationery say “Pakistan?” Who is Jackie? And have you ever been a finicky eater?
I may have changed a few things (well, I did for sure) to make this mine and a little closer to what I remember him fixing as a child, but this recipe will always be Dad’s Meatloaf – MEET LOFE – and it will always make me smile.
Old Fashioned Meatloaf – Dad’s MEET LOFE
1 Tbs. butter
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 tsp. all purpose seasoning (Bragg’s)
2 lbs. organic ground beef
1 sleeve (1/4 box) Keebler Club Crackers, crushed
2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese
3/4 cup organic catsup
1 large egg
sea salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a small skillet over low heat, melt the butter and sauté the veggies, along with salt, pepper, and seasoning, until soft.
Combine all remaining ingredients (in a large bowl), reserving 2 Tbs. catsup, and mix well. Use your hands – it really works the best.
Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes in order for the flavors to meld.
Transfer to a large loaf pan and top with the remaining catsup. Bake for about 1 hour.
Allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving.