Straight talk about food: meatloaf and apple pie

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“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, that it can be bought

at the cost of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!

I don’t know what others can take, but as for me,

Give me freedom or give me death!”

– Founding Father Patrick Henry

Riding the KSCO Radio Car through Boulder Creek 4e of the July parade, I was suddenly struck by “what it means to be an American” in the year 2022.

Rosie Chalmers walked in front of the car with her dog Hula and proudly wore her red, white and blue dress that she had worn seven years before when she was proudly proclaimed a citizen of the United States. Personally, I have known many people from foreign lands who have studied and taken the test, and finally, the oath to become what we are fortunately born into, but none are as proud as Rosie has become. I’m so lucky to be Rosie’s friend.

A few days ago I read an email I was copied from that stated in part. I’m afraid I’ve lost my enthusiasm, maybe I had to walk a 4th of Julye parade. I don’t feel very American these days and I’m seriously conflicted.

It struck me so much that even though this email was not intended for me, I had to respond by writing, “You may have become a little jaded, but you must remain fearless. You have the privilege of being American.

Getting in the car yesterday, I was more than amazed at the number of fellow citizens of our beautiful valley dressed in beautiful red, white and blue clothes.

The brave and beloved volunteer firefighters of our valley were riding in these trucks loaded with saving so many people and homes during the CZU fires and people were lined up seven people deep, cheering them on and throwing kisses at them.

Dogs dressed up to represent our wonderful America, little children waving flags, elderly gentlemen also walking their dogs, all wanting to join in the celebration of what America is: our independence from tyranny.

In the 1940s, after watching the 4e from the parade in July, my family was returning home with a meatloaf that had been slowly baked while we were gone. There was always coleslaw for salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, cookies and a hot apple pie. Grilled foods such as hot dogs and burgers didn’t appear until the 1950s. Ice cream was homemade, which was if you were lucky and had a cow or you could afford to buy cream. Remember that refrigeration, even in the 1940s, consisted of a block of ice kept in a “cooler”.

Tonight, as I sit down to my 1940s meatloaf dinner (prepared ahead of time, of course), I will give thanks to the Almighty who allowed me to be an American and live in this beautiful patriotic valley.

Aunt Betty’s Meatloaf (read carefully before making)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 90% ground beef
  • 1 pound sage ground pork (I use Jimmy Deans)
  • 2 slices of white bread (crusts removed), cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped carrots
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 C. each salt and pepper
  • 1 C. Italian seasoning

directions

  1. In a small bowl, soak the white bread and ¼ cup whole milk together for 15 minutes.
  2. In a skillet, sauté the chopped onion, carrots, celery and garlic together until very soft.
  3. Add all ingredients plus eggs, salt and pepper and Italian seasoning.
  4. Mix well and wrap in a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Cover the meatloaf with a sheet of foil 5 inches wider than each side and ends of the pan and crimp the foil around the edges of the pan to seal.
  7. TURN THE MEATLOAF ONTO A BAKING SHEET.
  8. Bake 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and remove meatloaf pan, exposing meatloaf.
  10. Increase oven heat to 400 degrees.
  11. Return the bread to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and drizzle with sauce and bake for another 15 minutes. Do this twice.

sauce

Ingredients (Heat in a skillet before basting)

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp. French mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 C. Tabasco-sauce

Ben Lomond resident Colly Gruczelak loves people and loves to cook. Contact her at [email protected].

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