Tonight I decided to cook my mother's meal -- three dishes whose recipes I received from her. My mom made lots of comfort for lots of years. Tonight? Meatloaf, corn pudding, and broccoli with cheese sauce.
The sauce for the meatlof is delicious, basically a homemade barbecue. But I don't like barbecue much, and this doesn't taste like bbq, so I don't know. Anyway, here's how you make it. And for some unknown reason, I seem to no longer measure ingredients. Why is that? (Duh. I know. It's because globbing stuff into a saucepan is SO much more fun, and besides, washing all those little measuring cups is a pain.)
Put in lots of ketchup, and when you thinks it's enough, put in more. I guess about 1 1/2 cups. Then maybe 1-2 tablespoons of mustard. Stir these in your saucepan. Add at least a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, another of apple cider vinegar, and at least 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Everything's better with brown sugar. We call it the "secret ingredient." When no one's looking, add a little more sugar. You also need about 1/2 cup of water in this. Heat and stir, and turn it down.
The meat mixture is simple: about 2 lbs of ground chuck or beef, 2 eggs, and 3 handfuls of oatmeal, and a teaspoon or two or salt. Mix this together, and add about 1/2 of the sauce, and mix well. It should be very moist, and if it is downright gloopy, that's okay.
Form the meat into individual servings in a casserole. Can you make into a loaf? Sure, but then you only get the sauce (yeah, the REST of the sauce) on the top of each slice. And we all know that the sauce is the best part, so let's get MORE of it by serving it in little balls, right?
Anywho, about halfway through I remembered that I LOVE green pepper in my meatloaf, so I put some in the second half of the servings.
Next is the corn pudding, and this is SUCH an easy recipe. Make it in the dish you're going to cook it in. As a matter of fact, this is my mother's own corn-pudding-dish, from all those years ago. I love it. Okay, put 2 eggs in the dish and whisk them. Add 1 can of creamed corn and whisk again. Add 1 cup of milk and whisk again. Take your 1 cup measure, rinse it and dry it, put 2 tablespoons each of flour and sugar in it and mix it lightly with a fork. Add this to the dish and whisk. Place a few dollops of butter on top. How many? Well, it depends on how fat you're feeling that day.
Pop those two dishes in a 350 oven to bake for about an hour. While they're cooking, whip up a homemade cheese sauce on the stovetop: 2 T. of butter, with 2 T. of flour, to make a roux, add a cup or two of milk and thicken with stirring, and cut in cheese until it melts. Cheese sauce. How easy is that? Well, if you make it about 147 times over 10 years, it's mighty easy indeed :) Make sure this sauce does not boil, or it will separate and turn grainy. Steam some broccoli.
And be sure, about halfway through baking the 2 casseroles, that you stir the corn pudding well, and put the rest of the sauce on the meatloaf.
And this is what you get: