I'm diverging for a moment from gardening to a favorite recipe of my mother's that I recently made for my in-laws. I hadn't made it for a long time, and I'd forgotten how absolutely wonderful it is.
My mother makes the best meatloaf ever. I've had a few others, and they don't compare. I loved it as a kid, and still find it irresistable. We request it (along with her blueberry pie) when we go home to Wisconsin, and if we don't get it there's so much pouting on my husband's part that she ends up making it anyway. It's spicy, saucy, and comforting. A bit like my mother now that I think about it. (I don't think she'll mind that I'm comparing her to her meatloaf. Maybe.)
Dorothy's Killer Meatloaf
1.5 pounds ground beef (I've used venison, and it worked like a charm.)
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (She makes her own chunky-ish style, and so that's what I do, too.)
1 onion, finely chopped (I went for a medium-large onion.)
1 egg, beaten
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans tomato sauce (I used my a pint of Kingsolver sauce and a pint of my plain tomato sauce.)
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons vinegar (I make these a bit generous.)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons prepared mustard - the horseradish kind. (Again, I was very generous with this.)
2 tablespoons Worcestshire sauce (Surprise! I was a wee bit generous with this, too.)
Mix together the meat, onions, crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, and a half can of the tomato sauce. Form it into a loaf and put it in a shallow baking pan, roughly 7 x 10. Smear the mustard on the loaf. (I kind of slathered it over the top in my generous way. I like it like that - saucy and spicy.) In a separate bowl combine the rest of the ingredients, and pour them over the loaf. Bake at 350 for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting occasionally.
We serve it with our house salad - red cabbage with kale, carrots, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, raisins, fresh pressed garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and a good dollop of soy sauce - and a wild rice mix stirred up with a bit of olive oil or cooked with a bundle of frozen pesto cubes on the top that just get stirred in.