Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Yes, yes, it's still cold.
No, I didn't take this picture today, although I wish I had. But it does have the delicate pink frosting provided by the sunset, and I couldn't resist sharing it, especially when it was far, far too almight cold to go to the beach today. And if you couldn't make yourself get out of bed and go to work (I did, I promise) you could have stayed at home by the fire and watched William Powell movies. Even now, and it's after work-time, there are William Powell and Luise Rainier and even - yes!- Myrna Loy. If you can't go to the beach, and your husband has just baked an apple cake with a sinful glaze made of butter and brown sugar, you can just stay in and watch. And it's fine, indeed.
If you're a dog person, there's that other fine thing about staying in by the fire: it makes your dogs positively blissful. First they tell you how happy they are by greeting you with appropriate enthusiasm. And then they indicate bliss in that time-honored dog way: they immediately go to sleep. If they are Meg, they may sit in chairs in distinctly unladylike positions between moods.
But then she goes to sleep. In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably warn Ye Who Read This Blog that we help when we can with Boxer Rescue, and there are three Boxers who moderate their lives, roughly, between our bed and our couch. See? The person sitting on the floor is a well, person. The people, er, dogs on the sofa to the left are...umm...dogs.
And there are many dog stories to tell, though for now I can say we have Meg (she of the appalling pose), Ty For Short, who came to us as Tyson (I know - people think it's hilarious to name the dogs after that other kind of boxer) and Calvin. He also came to us with that name, and I never say it without thinking of the scene in The Bells of St. Mary's where Ingrid Bergman introduces a kid named Luther to the new priest, Bing Crosby, who says quietly, "How'd he get in here?" So it is with Calvin. But so it is with rescue and especially fostering. We never meet the same dog twice. So there's more to tell you, my dears, but since people keep telling me they've actually make some of the recipes I've shared, I can't resist them temptation. I warn you: you'll freak out. It's not vegetarian-friendly. It's not remotely healthy. But it IS the foundation of Eat Here, as it was the first meal I cooked that made my family say, You should open a restaurant, and it should be called Eat Here, and the rest, as they say, is history.
So here is my mother's meat loaf recipe. You can use ground turkey or chicken, but I confess to using good quality ground beef and pork in roughly equal proportions. Put this into a bowl and add some very finely chopped onion, green pepper and garlic, pretty much as you like - you can leave out any of them if you don't like them. Add an egg (I like a nice big one; If Ms. Moon was your friend you might be able to get a beautiful blue or green one) and some fresh bread crumbs. If you have an old hot dog bun or just any old bread, crumble it up yourself, right into the bowl. Dash in some Wocestershire sauce, a tablespoon of kosher salt, some pepper, and seasonings you like; I put in fresh rosemary and parsley (though I'll tell you later, my loves, how I cannot grow fresh rosemary) and marjoram. A dash or two of Texas Pete can't hurt, and you squirt in some ketchup, maybe 1/4 or 1/2 cup. Mix it up and shape it into a loaf, and bake it in your cast iron skillet at 350 (a 1-1/2 lb. meatloaf takes about an hour and a quarter to cook). About half an hour before it's done, mix about 1/2 cup of ketchup, 3 or 4 tablespoons of mustard, a palmful of brown sugar and just a touch of ground cloves. Stir this together and pour it over your meatloaf.
And here's the Eat Here part: put a couple of slices of leftover meatloaf on good hearty bread, like oatmeal or 7-grain bread. Add a slice of good cheese (if you're going to do it, just do it, for heaven's sake) and if you still have it, a bit of the leftover meatloaf sauce. No one will ever forget it. And I do promise to get Lauren's excellent hummus recipe and Lis's sweet potato soup and make it up to those of you who'd rather die than eat any of this. More to come, my darlings. Thank you for reading.