Having been a mom for twenty years, I’ve figured out how to cook enough basic meals to keep my family alive.
However, since I only have about a half dozen dishes that I’ve perfected, it was just a matter of time before my family got completely sick of my cooking. Even the dog was sick of the scraps that fell on the floor. This coming from an animal that eats dirt.
Worried that I might start to get a reputation as a boring cook and be ostracized by the mommy cooking community and my dog, I decided to take the plunge into new cooking terrain and try a recipe from the Internet. I figured, if I can follow directions, why can’t I make a soufflé like Julia Childs or a pork schnitzel like Wolfgang Puck? Of course since I’m NOT Julia Childs or Wolfgang Puck, there was always the possibility that I would set fire to the soufflé, burn down the kitchen, and end up having to order in a pizza instead. So, not wanting to bite off more than I could chew, I decided to go with something basic: a meatloaf.
Being a mom, I am no stranger to meatloaf. But I thought maybe there was a recipe for a tastier meatloaf I could make to shake things up. Then, if the meatloaf was a success, I could move on to something even more complex like lasagna! Just thinking about it, I got giddy with imagined cooking superpowers. Word would spread of my amazing culinary skills. Soon even Rachael Ray would sing my praises.
Today the meatloaf, tomorrow the world!
After scouring the Internet, I found a recipe for Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze from Bobby Flay. Now, Bobby Flay is no hack and definitely knows his way around a grill, whereas I am most comfortable around a toaster oven. However, after reading the recipe, I was confident I could replicate his meatloaf. With recipe in hand, I set off for the supermarket and bought all the ingredients for what was sure to be the mother of all meatloaves.
I came home and started cooking. The air was soon filled with the glorious smell of sautéed onions, garlic and vegetables. I kneaded the meat and added the mixture along with eggs, herbs and breadcrumbs. Then I lined the pan with parchment, folded in the meatloaf, and with a flourish of my hand, popped it into the oven to cook while I made the balsamic glaze.
An hour later I set the table and called the family to dinner. But when I took the meatloaf out, it wasn’t done. I popped it back in for another 15 minutes, but it still wasn’t done. With my family clamoring to be fed, I decided to take my masterpiece out of the oven and finish it in the microwave.
As I boasted to my husband about how amazing this meatloaf was going to be, I suddenly heard a loud pop come from the microwave.
I cautiously eased over to the microwave and opened the door.
My meatloaf was no longer meatloaf.
It was meat mush.
Without skipping a beat, I put up a pot of water to boil. Moments later my husband left the dining room and came into the kitchen.
“Where’s the meatloaf, honey?” he inquired.
“Change of plans,” I replied. “We’re having spaghetti and meat sauce instead
©2016, Beckerman. All rights reserved.
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