Monthly Archives: January 2014


My son-in-law did me the honor of tweeting about the delicious “1970’s” meatloaf  I dropped off at his kitchen door yesterday around dinner time. Since he is thirty years younger than I, 1970 would seem like antiquity to him and  a pretty “old fashioned” food.

I, on the other hand, think of meatloaf as a 1950’s dinner staple. It certainly was in my house growing up. Similar to other recipes I have posted, my recipe is a family one I have used for years and copied from my sister. It is by far the best meatloaf you will ever taste.

But after the “tweet”, I started wondering just how far back meatloaf goes as a dinner table food. I sort of put it in the southern weekday dinner category or roadside diner menu stuff.  I guess what I am saying, I don’t think of meatloaf as a sophisticated food but a warm and fuzzy, Leave it to Beaver kind of dinner meat.

Comfort food.

So I decided to do a little research on this country cook delicacy and I was a bit surprised.  Fact is, meatloaf has European origins and dates back to Roman cookery as early as the 5th Century. It is a traditional German and Belgian dish and a not-so-distant cousin to the Dutch meatball. It appeared on American tables as early as Colonial times but did not show up in cookbooks until the 19th Century.

So there you have it, more than you will ever need to know or care about the history of meatloaf.  So on to the good stuff. Perfecting the art of meatloaf.

Having made it since I was first married, I have learned some tricks of the trade. First, since it is a loaf, it involves some kneading and squishing not unlike mixing dough for a loaf of bread.  Until recently, I always did this with my bare hands (freshly washed, of course), something I sort of dreaded. I’m not sure there is anyone who relishes working with raw ground meat but the result is such a crowd pleaser,  I always forged ahead. Until recently when said son-in-law’s nanny commented, as I was whipping up a couple loaves for dinner,  that she always uses thin rubber gloves.


So now I keep thin rubber surgical gloves on hand, pun intended, and they work perfectly. Some folks use pork or lamb mixed with beef for their meatloaf and you can often find that mixture in meat departments by the pound ready to go.  I am a purist and only use beef, in fact, I use grass fed these days for my organic kids. Recently discovered an organic grocery delivery service that arrives fresh on your doorstep for no extra charge. Not just local but in larger cities across the country. But that is the subject of another post.

So without further ado:

Kay’s Best Meatloaf Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees


2 1/3 lbs. ground sirloin, round or  chuck

2 eggs

1 c. quick Quaker oats

1 pkg. Lipton or Knorr dried onion soup mix

1 1/4 c. whole Carnation Milk (Sorry, not hip or chic.  In a red and white can near baking goods.)

3/4 c. catsup

Fresh pepper

BBQ sauce, Kay’s personal favorites are Masterpeice or K.C. Original

In a medium-sized mixing bowl (I use stainless) whip eggs with a fork unitl smooth and then combine with all other indredients except BBQ sauce.  Add meat and mix well using bare or glove-covered hands. Split mixture in half and shape into two loaves.  Can put in two separate glass or metal loaf pans or side by side in a 9×13 baking pan. (I rub either with oil or butter to make for easier clean up.)

Top each loaf with BBQ sauce, spread evenly over loaf.  Catsup will do if you don’t have any.

Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.  Remove and let cool a bit.  Tastes better warm than hot and is great leftover next day on a sandwich, slathered with mayo and my brother adds left-over baked beans.

I know, so un-PC, but so much better than quinoa and kale.








I resolved long ago never to resolve.  This was not an impulsive decision but a well thought out reversal in my thinking after years of failed New Year’s resolutions. This idea, not unlike my daughter’s comment  that my ramble about the holidays blurring together, is not original and is even perhaps “cliche” as I believe she labeled that Halloween post.

But this year, I am inspired to get back to a reasonable sort of resolving so I added a twist to my resolutions.  I am going to try to do things that will alleviate stress, improve my personal relationships with others and maybe even increase my life span.  No giving up stuff that only improves my heath or happiness rather than improving the world around me like many Christians do at Lent. As in, giving up chocolate (not for Jesus but to lose weight), stop drinking (not for Jesus but to give your liver a rest), reducing salt intake (not for Jesus’s blood pressure but for yours),etc. This time, I tried to think of things that would make me a better person not a better looking person.

Really hard for me to conceptualize, but I’m gonna go for it.

In keeping with my Christmas shopping list, I’ll simplify these perhaps preposterously lofty ideas into list form. Just share my aspirations and let you know which one, or few, I can actually keep longer than a week or day or five minutes. I’m hoping to give it the ole college try and if I fall flat on my face, well at least that, too, does nothing for my personal appearance or selfish interests.

This 2014, I, Nancy Noble Peck, resolve to attempt to:

1.  Make amends with an estranged friend.

2.  Commit to any sort of exercise that raises my heart rate, even if it is running up and down my front steps once a day.

3.  Talk less and listen more.  Stop interrupting or finishing others’ sentences.  Those actions seem motivated to prove you are smarter than everyone else or have ESP.  Or both.

4.  Let my adult children fend for themselves and make adult decisions and live with the consequences without my opinion, suggestions or intervention. I have realized at last that I can’t help them avoid pain and they certainly can’t learn from my mistakes.

5.  Do things out of love, not obligation.  Hoping for genuine, not guilt-driven, kindness.

6.  Judge less and accept more.

7.  Do something everyday I am afraid of.  Even if it is as simple as leaving the house not wearing mascara.

8.  Learn to fly without the confidence boost of drugs and alcohol.

9.  Stay in the moment; be present.  It’s all we can be certain of really.

10.  Take care of me and let everyone else figure it out.  Finally accept that  I can’t change others but changing me forces them to change their reactions to me.

Overly ambitious?  Sure.  Self- serving?  Hopefully not.  Banal?  Have to ask my eldest.

And if you don’t like them? Tough. You are not my friend. And don’t say you are. I know better. I am going to drive, not walk, to the grocery store after, of course, I apply two coats of mascara. But first, I have to stop at my daughter’s house and tell her my blog is my blog and her opinion is one of thousands and if she doesn’t stop feeding her youngest, he is going to explode and to let her three-year-old watch some TV and have a hot dog while doing it, for God’s sake. I’ve got so much to orchestrate for my son’s wedding, I have no time to run her life and his. And my youngest, I need to fly out to see her and help her juggle all she has to accomplish this year. Do I have to be everywhere at once and chug a glass of wine to get there?! Man, there aren’t enough hours in the day.

11.  Start tomorrow.