Monday, October 31, 2016


We had a guest from Oklahoma City this weekend. She has been a good friend since 1972 and has visited here several times. She brought Halibut with her and we enjoyed a meal with that on Friday. On Saturday I served tamales made by the mothers of my students over a queso I made, and I topped that with a fresh salsa.

For tonight we needed something simple.

Old school tomato soup from the can. Very much a comfort food for we 50's children.

With it, I put together a home made variation on an 80's phenomenon, Schlotsky's, a quasi muffuletta for the masses.

First I made an olive and pickled pepper salad with Inglehoffer stone ground mustard.

Then I shredded fresh Romaine leaves and added those to the mustard and olive blend.

Then I made sandwich stacks of salami, honey ham, and turkey breast and heated them, wrapped in foil, in a low oven.

I toasted some decent bread, and, while it was still hot, stacked it with cheddar jack. The hot meat went on the cheese to encourage it to melt. Then I spread a layer of the olive sald before I placed the other piece of toast on top.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf

I miss my mother. I do not miss her cooking.

Sure, I remember dishes she made well, and even make some of those to this day. One example would be the dish of okra, tomatoes and hominy baked with a layer of bacon. We kids called it the "Someone's Dead" casserole as she only made them to take to grieving families. Another would be the avocado and citrus fruit salad with sweet and sour onion dressing she made at Thanksgiving.

In all honesty, however, she didn't like to cook and the results showed that. Her meatloaf was an excellent example. She combined ground beef with a pouch of Lipton onion soup mix, made a loaf and painted it with ketchup. Then she cooked the life out of it. We always cut the leftover loaf in slices before we refrigerated it because otherwise it would have taken a chain saw to cut it.

This blog post is not her recipe. The recipe is my own, and the result of years trying different recipes from various sources and then changing things.


4 pounds Boston Blend  ground meat (60 percent beef, 40 percent pork)
1 large yellow onion, diced very small
1 carrot, diced very small
1 stalk celery, diced very small
1 small bell pepper, diced very small
6 golf ball size baby Portabella mushrooms, diced very small
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg, beaten
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
6 or 7 slices thick sliced bacon
seasoned salt and pepper

1 cup barbecue sauce*


Set the oven to 375 degrees and place the rack on the low middle level.

Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium low heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery, mushroom, and garlic. Lightly salt the mixture to encourage the juices to exude. Saute the mixture slowly until the vegetables are well cooked and beginning to dry out. Take the saute pan from the heat but leave the vegetables in the pan and allow them to continue steaming as they cool.

Combine the meat, panko, sour cream, egg, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper. I use around a Tablespoon of seasoned salt and two teaspoons of ground pepper. Mix well with your hands until well blended. Add the vegetables while still warm but no longer hot. Mix them into the mixture by hand. Try not to compact the loaf too tightly. Form a long loaf and place it in a foil lined roasting pan.

Paint the loaf with the barbecue sauce. Use the bacon strips to cover the loaf from end to end.

Roast the loaf to an internal temperature of 150 degrees. The  cook time will be around 80 minutes. By then the bacon will be dark brown and cooked, although not necessarily crisp since it sits on the sauce.

Allow the roast to rest for 15 minutes while plating the remainder of the meal.

May I suggest twice baked mashed potatoes and mushroom cream gravy?

*Easy homemade Barbecue Sauce

1 small can tomato sauce
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup industrial grade maple syrup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Adjust the maple syrup vinegar amounts to suit your sweet and sour prefernces then add
salt and pepper and sriracha to taste.