Growing up, I didn’t care much for meatloaf, but it was a staple dish at our house. We were the quintessential downeast Mainer, meat and potatoes kind of family.
Now, my house consists of me, my husband and my 28-year-old brother. Most nights the decision as to what to have for dinner falls on my shoulders. It’s my cross to bear. My husband will happily eat most anything. My brother is far more picky. I’ve made turkey meatloaf a few times, and he was having no part of it. But he had a suggestion. “Why don’t you make it like Meme does?”
I had no idea how my grandmother made her meatloaf. I mean, how many ways is there to make it really? I asked J.J how Meme made it. He wasn’t sure either. The only thing he knew for certain was that it came with some type of tomato based sauce.
So the other night, I called my Meme. I told her I was going to make her meatloaf, and needed go over the recipe with her. When I told her that I was going to make it with ground turkey instead of ground beef, you could sense the hesitation. She was trying to be so nice. She said “Uh, well Darci, I just don’t know how that will turn out”. And ” You can’t put tomato sauce with turkey!” I assured her that it would be fine. I also had to give J.J. a pep talk. I told him that it would be fine. He agreed to try it, and voila, he ate it all. I win.
So here’s what I did:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together 1 lb Lean Ground Turkey, 1 egg, 1/2 a large chopped green pepper, 1/2 an onion finely chopped, and 5 or 6 ritz crackers. Put mixture in a loaf pan and put it in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
When it’s done, lift the meatloaf out of the pan and put the pan on a burner and turn it on low. Add a can of Tomato soup, half a cup of chicken stock, and a couple of tablespoons of wondra to thicken. Heat the mixture until it starts to simmer. If the consistency seems too watery, add more wondra until it thickens. Once it’s the right consistency, I pour it into a gravy boat so everyone can serve themselves at the table.
So that’s that. But now, I’m curious… What was a staple dish at your house growing up? Have you revamped it or changed it now that you’re the one cooking it?