Sunday, September 26, 2010

Box o' produce

I was talking with my dad about the delivery items we're getting these days: milk and produce. They both come on Tuesday and it is simultaneously marvelous and terrible to see a cornucopia on your doorstep. Marvelous for obvious reasons, I think; those being that, huzzah!, someone else did your shopping. Terrible because you have to unpack, clean, wrap in plastic or paper towels, or whatever, while rangling your toddler and fighting back tears because, Christ!, you have so much stinking work to do and you are still a fulltime wife and mother, and tell me again why I shouldn't eat pasta with sauce from a jar every night?

No jars. I made, instead, lentils with beet greens, and a side of roasted beets.

Then there were the chard cakes with a side of pasta with sausage and tomatoes from our garden! Tomatoes from the garden, that is. Maybe pigs in the future. Ha. I have shared the chard cake recipe before and I must say - you think you can eat 20 when you start out, but cheese is so rich. Huh. And I never remember this. Each time I make these I look at the paltry plate of 6 patties and think: I can eat all of them! Then I push back after one and a half.

So Dad was saying that when he was a boy they got the milk delivery, in glass jars. I don't know why this image is part of my understanding of his childhood - where did I get this mental picture of a milkman and those jars? TV, probably. What I didn't know was that the produce guy would come down Dad's block once a week too! What? A farmers market come to your door? Surely you jest. I'm sure there was no arugula or squash blossoms, but still! Oh yes, the ice man too. I have that image as well: big calipers grasping ice. No, that can't be right. I need to replace the calipers with a medieval hook of sorts. Yes, that works.
My dear blogger-friend wanted my meatloaf recipe. Ah, Charlene, you honor me with your request.

Meatloaf with brown sugar-ketchup glaze:
Glaze: 1 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3T cider vinegar. Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan and set aside.
Meatloaf: 2tsp. veg oil; 1 medium onion, chopped; 2 medium garlic cloves, minced; 2 large eggs, lightly beaten; 1/2 tsp. dried thyme; 1 tsp. salt; 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper; 2 tsp. Dijon mustard; 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce; 1/4 tsp (or more) hot sauce; 1/2 cup plain yogurt; 2 lbs. meatloaf mix (1lb. ground beef; 1/2lb. ground pork; 1/2lb. ground veal - I usually don't get veal, I just use more beef or lamb); 2/3 cup oats OR 1 1/3 cups fresh bread crumbs; 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1. Heat the oven to 350 (medium). Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat until translucent, not browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Mix the next eight ingredients in a medium bowl. Add this mixture to the meat in a large bowl. Then add then crackers, parsley, and onion mixture. Mix to blend with a fork or hands. I like hands because if I gently squeeze the ingredients while mixing, they get incorporated well. The mixture will be slightly sticky, but shouldn't stick like glue to the bowl. If it does, add milk, a couple tablespoons at a time until you get a good, cohesive, not-too-sticky mass.
3. Turn the mixture onto a sheet pan lined with heavy duty foil (easy cleanup), and shape it into loaf form, 9x5 inches.
4. Remove about 1/3 -1/2 cup glaze from the saucepan and brush it over the meatloaf. (Some people add bacon to the top of this!)
5. Bake the loaf until it is 160 degrees, about 1 hour 20 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, simmer the remaining glaze over medium heat until it thickens slightly. Serve alongside.
-America's Test Kitchen recipe


  1. Yay! Thanks for that. I'd best dig my cup measures out...

    And my next request is that you direct me to your chard cake recipe which you said you'd shared before... Care to share a link to it? :)

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Okay. I think I linked it. I must get better at this linking and labeling thing. Cheers.

  3. I am really liking the chard ckaes. Thanks for the link to them.