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More about me and the stories of the food that makes my heart warm.

17 Jan

More about me and my recipes.  I was recently asked, “Do you cook everyday?” I have thought about that question since it was asked of me. The answer then was of course we eat everyday….but upon reflecting I couldn’t have said that years ago while raising my son. Probably my biggest regret is that he only partially experienced the family dining table. So different from when I was little. When I was growing up we always ate at home, we had no choice but to eat what was served to us by our mother (who also work full-time away from the house) and we had no choice but to participate in the conversation at the dinner table. My Son turned out well despite the lack of dinner table events….but I wish it had been different during that time. Food and meals for me are an expression of my love and gratitude for others. I find that many of my recipes are packed full of memories that are triggered and revisited when I put that first bite in my mouth of a particular recipe. The following are a few memories that I have attached to my Meatloaf with Mary Bee’s Sweet Glaze recipe. Here is the journey my recipe has taken over the last 5 years.

First of all until recently my Son hated meatloaf, why? Because he soon realized that if we ate meatloaf one night, the next night it would be the meat in his spaghetti…he’s not so fond of spaghetti either. Recently I fixed that memory for him and in the midst created a heartwarming one for myself.

I had been working with my same meatloaf recipe for years, no changes, just the usual meatloaf. One night Mark’s Mother invited us to dinner and there it was, Mary Bee’s Sweet Glaze. I had never had such sweetness atop my meatloaf. I was raised a ketchup type of girl. I asked her for the recipe and was surprised by how simple it actually was. From that day forward my meatloaf was taken up a notch. But still not a recipe I would ever serve to guest. I always considered meatloaf as my money-saving recipe for dinner. Then another meatloaf altering day came.

Thanksgiving , Mark’s sister and I made homemade beer bread that was inedible.I mean absolutely awful. Well, I froze what nobody ate, 2 entire loaves, thinking maybe croutons could be made from them. Time passed and I found myself making meatloaf but I had no bread to add to the recipe. Oh no what to do? Then I remembered about that terrible beer bread in the freezer, surely it couldn’t hurt my meatloaf. Just the opposite happened, it locked in the moisture like I had never seen before. A few days later a wonderful thing for my taste buds happened our neighbor brought us a loaf of her beer bread…oh it tasted so wonderful and I was surprised when she told me it was from “Tastefully Simple” from a box mix. So I ordered a few boxes, baked them and froze the leftovers. Now over the next couple of months I decided to play with the flavor profile, okay the ingredients in my meatloaf, thinking surely I could help this poor excuse for a recipe along. I liked the outcome better than the original attempts. Then while playing with the recipe again I decide to add the “Tastefully Simple Beer Bread” to the mix and Oh My Gosh …. I hit the meatloaf JACKPOT! Finally a meatloaf recipe I would be excited about serving my family, friends and guest.

Back to my new meatloaf memory.

My Son recently was married, so the week of the wedding I decided to host a dinner, at his house, for his Bride-to-be, his Father, Step-Mother, Sister and Grandmother on that side along with myself, my Son and my Boyfriend. Meatloaf was on the menu, you can imagine my Son’s face when I told him this news. I assured him it was wonderful, but I know he wasn’t pleased with me. As the meatloaf baked his eyes got wider and a smile appeared as the smells lingered through the house, I could tell he was interested in giving this new, improved meatloaf a chance. Well just minutes before the guest were to arrive we received terrible news that my beloved Gramma had passed. Hit with this news, of course my mood changed from excitement of celebrating my Son’s upcoming wedding  to devastating sadness. Our guest arrived…and with the warmth that only comes from sharing a loss with people who also loved and adored that person we mournfully sat down to dinner as planned. To my surprise I found that we celebrated my Gramma’s life and how she touched each of ours, we celebrated the upcoming marriage of my Son and his beautiful Bride-to-Be and how my Gramma was truly happy for my son, we celebrated being together as one-united & whole family like we had never been before…… My meatloaf was a huge hit, everyone loved it, seconds were served and even my Son was a convert. It turned out to be a very joyful night.

I recently made my Meatloaf with Mary Bee’s Sweet Glaze for this blog…and found that my heart was filled with love and warmth upon my first bite of the meal as it brought back memories of that night, good and sad, but all the same memories that put a smile in my heart.

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Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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