Friday, September 30, 2005

So, in an attempt to break the staring contest of an impass with my demotivation I did some shopping. Using the wonderfully functional Used Books section on my employer's website, I managed to acquire a small out of print cookbook entitled Everybody Loves Meatloaf.

What a score!

This book is incredible. I thought I was alone, but this woman is dedicated. I didn't know anyone could love meatloaf as much as myself, but dammit she sure does. Here are the first few paragraphs of the introduction:
"My maternal grandmother made a very fine meatloaf. In fact, she made many good meatloaves, and took great pride in the preparation and serving of each one. Meatloaf-making was my first home-cooking lesson. Grandma taught me to mix gently, to pat smoothly, and to tend to the loaf carefully during baking. Over forty years later, as I write this book, I realize that she was talking about a lot more than meatloaf.

The modern meatloaf, like other widely loved foods such as pizzas, pastas, and burgers, has expanded its horizons well beyond the traditional definition. The new meatloaf may be chicken or turkey, salmon or shrimp, or may not even have any meat in it at all! This book is a celebration or all meatloaves, old and new, meat or not.

After years of being held in high esteem in the American food world, meatloaf fell into disfavor during the last decade [80's - ed]. It became the butt of school cafetaria jokes, and it was the centerfold of gluey gravy-stained diner menus. Meatloaf was relegated to the kitchen closet, and rarely discussed in polite culinary company.

It is good news indeed that meatloaf has lately made a comeback! And why not? It has all the right stuff for the way we cook today - easy to make and serve, very versatile, economical, nutritionally correct, usually good hot or cold, and loved by practically everyone.

Depending upon the occasion, meatloaf can be a culinary masterpiece, or it can be a flavorful everyday menu staple. In my view, it is both. There are loaves for celebrations - say, a rich patelike loaf with some mellow red wine. And then there are loaves to brighten the most mundane days - hearty slices of ground meats bound together with good breadcrumbs and topped with ketchup and bacon.

In researching this book, I found that nearly everyone has a meatloaf story, ranging from a gravy incident with a sibling to a romance over a little shrimp mousse and champagne on New Year's Eve. In addition, nearly everyone I know has a meatloaf recipe, but very few have more than one. So, because we can never get enough of a good thing, here are a few more meatloaves to add to your collection, as well as a repertoire of poultry, seafood, and vegetarian loaves, all designed to give you a whole new view on this American classic."
Can ya dig it? This book rocks. There are over 100 recipes of "loaves and fixin's". Some of the ones that really piqued my interest were Argentinian Steakloaf, Osso Bucco Loaf with Gremolata Tomato Gravy, Basque-Style Meatloaf, Turkey and Shiitake Loaf with Sherry Gravy, Dirty Rice Loaf, Casino Clam Loaf, Southwest Tuna Melt Loaf, Garlic, Grits and Greens Loaf and Deviled Broccoli Squares. They should include a crack pipe and twelve step program with this book. It is just that good. I haven't even mentioned anything from the Suaces and Sides section.

Ms. Barnard has completely outdone herself. This is one chockablock full little book. Besides all the recipes, she includes tips and tricks and some really helpful hints. And that doesn't even include the chapter entitled Advanced Meatloaf.

3 comments:

Sami Lama said...

" ... and it was the centerfold of gluey gravy-stained diner menus."

Brilliant.

spezbaby said...

T'wasn't me. I can take no credit.

Miss Julia said...

Reminds me of a book I got recently called "Saucepans and the Single Girl" Hilarious.