Welcome to my entry for Project Tasteless Challenge 3:
Girls Who Eat Their Feelings
As soon as I saw this was our challenge, my problem most definitely wasn’t a lack of options for something to make seeing as how I’m pretty much Princess Eat Her Feelings. My problem was narrowing it down! My GOD, sometimes I crave pizza and gallons of beer, sometimes it’s 5 pounds of nachos smothered in guac and sour cream….sometimes it’s as simple as ice cream and chips and salsa. I am most definitely very “Equal Opportunity” when it comes to what I’ll stuff my face with when I’m eating a broken heart, the death of a pet, missing my Austin friends, or trying to bury the fact that I’m a complete asshole when I get too drunk. But, when I think “comfort food”, I think something that actually DOES make me feel better, and eating shit like pizza and nachos usually results in me feeling WORSE. Comfort food to me is also something that just makes me happy in general when I think about it….no brainer here…..My daddy’s meatloaf.
You see, growing up our family had a “we sit down at the table, no tv, and have dinner together every night, no matter how busy we are” rule. There were times I thought this was the dumbest thing EVER, and soooooooo not fair because I was totally missing the Cosby Show! But now that I’m a “grown up” (in quotes because I use that term VERY lightly) I’m soooooo glad we had that time together because it’s full of fond memories of great food and laughs.
Normally, we had the “typical” mom/dad roles……probably the ONLY thing typical in my family. Mom cooked, cleaned, did the laundry, and dad did the “man stuff”. But every once in a while mom was sick, or was on the verge of killing one of us so dad would volunteer to make dinner and you could guarantee what it would be………MEATLOAF!!!! I’m pretty sure it was the only thing he could cook, but I loved it, and he would always try to do something different with it to make it fun, like meatloaf muffins, or he would shape it in letters, animals, etc. You never know what the meatloaf creation was going to be, but I loved it and my friends would come over for sleepovers and when dad asked if we wanted to order pizza like normal kids our answer was always “NO! MAKE MEATLOAF!!!!”
This has always been one of those things that has gotten me through “THOSE” days. As a kid growing up when a pet died, a family member was ill or worse, or something horrible happened at school and I was sure my life was over, it was meatloaf/mashed potatoes/green beans to the rescue!
As I’ve gotten older, it has really stuck with me. Living in Austin for 4 years I got really homesick OFTEN, and I would always make meatloaf to give me a taste of home. When friends were sad, broken hearted, etc….meatloaf to the rescue!
And my most recent “Meatloaf to the rescue” moment? This guy. I’m honestly really tired of thinking/talking about it, but it’s a great example of the kind of shit daddy’s meatloaf can fix.
The last straw with Brian was when he took me to Tahoe (after I had already screwed him over about a million times) and I proceeded to come home from the trip and not talk to him for 3 months. THREE MONTHS. SERIOUSLY. Who does that? I’m an asshole sometimes, I own this.
To make a long story short and keep you from reading a 20 page post about it, I tried for about a year to fix it after I realized I was being a complete moron….and recently was the “cut the cord” moment where I just couldn’t say I’m sorry another time, either he was going to give me a chance to prove myself, or he wasn’t. He chose to tell me to fuck off. Ok, not really…..he pulled the whole “I don’t want you out of my life and I want to be friends”, but his idea of being friends is contacting me once a year by posting “Happy Birthday” on my Facebook wall if the past year is any indication, so basically he was saying “I like to think I’m too nice of a person to say fuck off, but I don’t realize that my actions say it anyway so I may as well own it and tell you to fuck off, but I’m too pretentious, so I’ll just be fake.”
Regardless of the little bitterness I had, I was heartbroken, and just really sad about the whole thing. Not only did I lose a great guy who really couldn’t have made me any happier than he did, but I had also lost one of my best friends.
So, what’s the only thing that could bring me comfort in this mess? I bring you Daddy’s Meatloaf, with Mom’s Mashed Potatoes, and Manon’s grown up green beans!
Meatloaf is one of those beautiful things that you can really change up however you want, depending on your cravings. I wanted to stick to my daddy’s favorite version because it’s also MY favorite….the secret ingredient? HORSERADISH!!!! This takes meatloaf to a whole new level….it’s like meatloaf with sass and zip to it…pretty much like me and dad…..some may say we are full of something else, but I’m going with sass and zip :)
Since I’m a single girl cooking for one, I went to one of daddy’s favorite twists, meatloaf muffins! This way I can make single servings and freeze them….otherwise I end up eating 20 pounds of feelings in the form of meat and potatoes, and that’s just ridiculous.
First, you soak 4 slices of bread in 1/4 c of milk.
Then, you throw a bunch of shit in a bowl….you know dad wasn’t measuring :)
Today I went with 1 egg beaten, Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 c horseradish, 1/4 c chopped onion, 1/4 c chopped green pepper, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, 2 tbsp chili sauce, salt and pepper. Mix all that up, and here comes added therapy…….throw 1 1/2 lbs of hamburger in and smoosh the shit out of it. Some people are grossed out by raw meat, but not me!
(Disclaimer: by SMOOSH I don’t mean the Snooki version….I don’t recommend trying to ‘get it in’ with raw hamburger, but whatever fills your twinkie.)
Once you have it mixed thoroughly, throw it in a loaf pan, a muffin tin, or since we’re going with a ‘heart’ theme today, I used a heart mold:
Today I just topped with ketchup, and threw them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes!
Also on the menu were my mom’s mashed potatoes and gravy. I talk about how I’m a daddy’s girl all the time, but I need to give more props to my mama!
For these bad boys boil some yukon gold potatoes until tender….leave the skins on since they are full of good for you vitamins! Get your smoosh on again and mix in some milk, cream cheese, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper….there’s something very therapeutic about beating the hell out of potatoes with a masher!
While those are warming on the stove, throw together the gravy….I didn’t bother putting a “Manon” twist on this….don’t fuck with Kathy’s gravy!
In a saucepan, melt 1/2 c butter. Add 1/2 c flour and stir for 5 mins until the mixture smells like cooked pie crust. Add 1 clove garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in 1 cup cold beef broth, and then add 1/4 c ketchup, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and 3 cups beef broth. Bring to a simmer while wisking and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste!
I was a multi-tasking bitch today….while the potatoes and gravy were working, I threw together my grown up green beans. Now, we always had green beans with meatloaf growing up, but normally just plain out of the can. None of that boring stuff if we’re cooking for comfort here people……we’re going to saute green beans with BACON!! Obviously I’m not giving a shit about calories in this meal. I absolutely LOVE this combo….all you have to do is cook up some bacon (I like the good stuff….nitrate free, all that jazz), and throw in the beans. So easy, and soooooooooo delicious! I’ve actually been guilty of just having this for a meal!
By now the meatloaf heart muffins are finished, the whole house smells like garlic and bacon, and IT’S DINNER TIME!!!!!
Sometimes comfort food mean making something pretty!
Whichever form of comfort you are looking for, messy or pretty, spicy or plain, Daddy’s Meatloaf does the trick!! And let me tell you, as pretty as that plate was to begin with, I had a hell of a great time destroying it AND eating it! The horseradish in the meatloaf just pops in your mouth…the creamy rich mashed potatoes with just a small taste of mom’s gravy topped off with the salty crisy beans with bacon……I’m in such a food coma right now, and soooooooo HAPPY.
MISSION COMFORT FOOD = MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
What food brings YOU comfort?