Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Family Meatloaf Recipe

There was a discussion about mixing meatloaf on a forum I wander into fairly regularly.

Which got onto "what is your family meatloaf"

and I thought, why not?

1kg cheap mince
1 chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 egg
1/2-1 cup grated zucchini
1/2-1 cup grated carrot
1-2 slices bread, wet in water and squeezed
1 good squirt cheap ass tomato sauce
splash worcestershire
marjoram - yes, there is something you can use that for!
if you have fresh parsley - couple of good tablespoons of that
bit of oregano
bit of thyme
stuff from the cupboard
leftover stuff from the fridge
(in place of last 6 ingredients, you could add dried mixed herbs a la the traditional family recipe)

Preheat the oven to 160-200 C.  Dependent on time availability and how tempremental your oven is, of course.

Wash your hands - ensure jewellery is on the ring stand above the sink and no fingernails are giving you gyp.

Prep the above.

Put all the above into a bowl and mix it through with your hands, squeezing it between your fingers, tearing the wet bread as you are doing so.  If too dry, add another egg.  If too wet, put in some breadcrumbs.

Put a slosh of oil into a baking dish.  You can use the spray stuff or lard or oil - whatever - bit of lube, the fat of cheap mince should provide the goodness.

Mould the mixture into thing loggy sort of shapes.  If your time is a bit tight, make it skinnier (because the aim of the game is really to cook it to the centre, not how you've got a bigger one).

If you want to get all fancy, you can wrap some cheap bacon around it.  If you want to look all health nut, try some seaweed or blanched cabbage leaves.  Gee, if you want to go vego, you could use lentils or well cooked any beans, if you want to go vegan, besan flour can hide most shortcomings.  Sprigs of herbs would add a certain frivolity to proceedings - just so long as it doesn't look like scorched earth when the dish is presented, I suppose.

Apparently some parts of the world even use a barbecue saucey sort of drench - each to their own, hey?  Best not to start a war over it.

Anyhoo - into the oven - we love roast vegies here, so will peel and put all sorts of vegetables around - generally I will give the meatloaf a bit of time in the oven before I add these, size of the veges determine the cooking time so adjust accordingly - depending of size and temp, it will take 1-2 hours and goes amazing well with gravy and peas (and corn and broccoli and mashies and salad and between two slices of white bread slathered with butter and tomato sauce).

Friday, August 01, 2014

Quite Augusting

I was having a good day.  I was doing the groceries with Paris after a lovely morning at a playground. 

Paris had decided that she was my horse, and I had been ordered to say "yaah" to go and "woah" to stop as she dragged my carriage (the shopping trolley) up and down the fairly deserted aisles.

As we exited the staples/tins and exotic products aisle, an old man took note. 

Unfortunately not an old man of the ilk that smiled gently and moved on.  This old man was more the Frank Barrone variety.  Slightly more hair, perhaps, but clothed by the same tailor and sang from the same song book.

As we "woah"ed to go around the corner of the toiletries aisle, he said (and this needs its own line)

"having a good day out, Nanna?"

Not having yet taught Paris the meaning of certain swear-words, I nodded politely and "yaahed" her right up to the far end of that aisle in record speed. 

Unfortunately I had toiletry needs that were located at the near end, but the mortification of a septuagenarian referring to me as "Nanna" blitzed all logical thought from my head.

We then "yaah"ed productively down the cleaning products aisle.  We were almost clear when he leaped (well, shuffled) out again, pretending to be a policeman and spooking my horse. 

As we all know, Paris is excessively shy, and so my gorgeous little horse shied beautifully and manouvred the carriage around Mr Plod.

My nod lost its polite, and any discerning fellow shopper would surely have read the swear words in my body language.

Alas no. 

I will give him this, he must have put on a bit of speed, because in the time it took for us to collect some cheese he had placed himself in the petfood aisle where he could not be avoided.

My horse slowed, unsure of her footing.  I "yaah"ed as gently as I could, and called out that we were currently invisible if he could please clear our carriageway.  He smiled like we were playing with him (rather than despite) and offered me another "Nanna" gee up.

Unfortunately I do not have any Elsa powers, otherwise the grocery store could have moved their fridge section across.

Into the last section, I remembered bags and toiletry requirements.  I left Paris by the ever so exciting stationary section and went back around the corner - and there he lurked.  I ignored very pointedly, but as he crabwalked towards me, I gave up my quest and returned to my carriage.

By the time we were at our final collection (frozen peas) he had caught up and attempted conversation.

"She must be such a delight for you, Nanna" he opened with.

My polite had left, and I delivered a rather curt "She is my daughter.  I am her mother."  The "and expletive deleted off" was unspoken but definitely in the delivery.

"Oh, well done" he said in a tone that reflected his belief that I had approached World Records in Geriatric Maternity.

I then realised that, not only was he being gobsmackingly rude in assuming my role in Paris' life, this was his attempt to pick me up.

At the supermarket.

On a Friday afternoon.


A. The wedding ring was on.  Out of bounds.
B. Old enough to be my father.
C. Not only out of my generation, out of my LEAGUE.

Yeah.  But the roots - definitely due a touch-up, it seems!!