Friday, July 13, 2012

My Recipe: Best Ever Meatloaf!

Do you have favorite recipes from your childhood? I'm sure you do because I do too. 

When I was around six we lived in one of about 100ish side by side townhouses. The Maples, as it was named, was what now is deemed a "gated community" but our little hamlet wasn't gated, it was just a large group of single family homes that sometimes shared an outside wall with it's neighbor. This kind of housing development is mostly a Western thing but it made for a wonderfully protective and cohesive group of families who all looked out for one another. I had many friends in the neighborhood and we all walked to school together. All our mom's knew each other and would look after the kids if they showed up in the backyard.

**The salt is supposed to read 2 teaspoons, NOT tablespoons**
My mom had a good friend, Ethyl, who lived on the next street over. Our backyards were separated by a path that all the kids took as a shortcut. Ethyl was a gourmet trained chef and mom suggested to her one day that she start classes for the moms who lived in The Maples. Because of these wonderful weekly lessons mom ended up with a personal cookbook full of the most scrumptious and easy to make recipes that ever existed! I can attest to their yummyness, I still dream of a couple of the desserts. Believe me, these recipes have become our family's "Best Of The Best". Mom always pulls them out when she needs a recipe that is so spectacular that everyone begs for her recipes. This is her "Best Ever Meatloaf" recipe. When she makes it I beg her to double up on the sauce because it caramelizes on the meat and is so delicious it's drool-worthy.

I think I owe Ethyl a big thank you because since my gramma didn't write down her famous pie recipes that are now lost to time, I'm thrilled to have Ethyl's wonderful collection of recipes. Thank you Ethyl, for fleshing out our "family recipe" collection and giving me happy memories of summertime parties filled with pink lemonade and ten layer chocolate strawberry meringue torte. It still makes my mouth water. (if you find my photograph too blurry to get the actual recipe, just email me and I'll send it to you!)


Just in case you missed this week's previous posts, I thought I'd make it easier for you to find them! Click the icon if you want to go to that post.
I'm reading: My Recipe: Best Ever Meatloaf!Tweet this Post


  1. Great illustration and loved learning a little about your childhood... sounds like it was fun... we used to move in a pack as well, which was great fun... one of the things I love about the street we live in is that Phoebe got the chance to roam around like we had... sadly they other kids are mostly moved away, but she had a great time in her early school years... good challenge this week... it has led to lots of interesting posts hasn't it...xx

  2. I LOVE meatloaf, and this one sounds scrumptious. Love your illustration too! Of course the ketchup has to be Heinz lol. Here in Pittsburgh it's practically sacrilegious to buy any other kind.

    I grew up in a neighborhood like yours. Most of the families knew each other and we kids all played together. Seems we roamed all over the place without anyone worrying too much.

  3. Beautifully illustrated recipe card. Your early childhood sounds like a happy place :)

  4. You mom's meatloaf sounds scrumptious and your illustrations are superb. I also used one of my mother's recipes for this challenge. Thanks and hope you enjoy it.

  5. Yummy! Meatloaf is such an American classic and I can't wait to try this out on the family...meatloaf lovers from way back! Thanks for sharing the delightful story.

  6. Your sketches are wonderful - especially the carrots and onion!! I'm e-mailing you (againnnn) for this one. YUM!

  7. This looks and sounds sO yummy. We have our own version in the family but I much prefer the sound of yours with the cheese included, so I'm going to email you for a copy :0)

  8. OMG the two things I hated to eat when I was a kid - onions and meatloaf because if was chock full of onions LOL But since you make the story so lovely, I will e-mail you for it and try it out on the DH. In almost 35 years I have never made him a meatloaf! Adore your illustrated recipe card. Tracey sent me over to check you out!

  9. I love how you illustrated this recipe, Jenn! I'm vegetarian but I still cook meat dishes for my kids (adults now plus a teen) so I will definitely give this a try. Thanks for sharing. The kids always love their meatloaf sandwiches the next day.

    I loved hearing about your childhood years...there seemed to be a real sense of community and friendship.

    Sorry, I missed out on this week's challenge. I was very keen but then, time ran away from me like a freight train. I did visit and comment on the entries tho. Some great recipes all round!

    Have a great weekend!

  10. Tail-end Charlie reporting in late as usual Jenn, sorry!
    I've heard meatloaf mentioned so many times over the years but never actually looked up a recipe or tried now's the time I guess.
    You told of such wonderful memories to accompany a great illustration that how can I refuse.
    This challenge is going to seriously challenge my waistline though...I think it might have to be elastication from now on :$
    I had a good time trying out the Derwent's pencils again and pushing myself endlessly...sigh.
    Next week I promise I'll try and start the challenge at the beginning of the week instead of on Friday!!!
    Have a wonderful weekend ~ enjoy and thanks again for stretching me...literally! :D

  11. Hi Jenn ... Ol' Hop-a-long Cassidy here checking in. First, mmmmmm, I've printed out your recipe with its fantastic illustrations and I'll certainly be trying it.

    In typical fashion, I have to tell you a story to go with your post: one about meatloaf that will go down in infamy. My meatloaf is much like Ethyl's recipe (sans the cheddar, which does sound like a yummy addition), and I swear I made it as described now some 10 years ago. As it was baking, it really didn't smell right -- maybe a little nauseating, truth be told. Once done, I served it up to John and daughter Emily. Emily took one bite and ran to the sink to spit it out. John finished one piece and then declared it unfit. The meat, while fresh from the grocer, must have been bad -- it really was disgusting -- and it was at least 8 years before they'd allow it on the menu again. Moral of the story: if it smells bad, it is! (Thankfully, nobody got sick from it, but boy did it taste terrible!!)

    I've since made a few jim-Dandy loaves, including some with light Panko crumbs substituting for the bread, and I add a sprinkle of Oregano and Parsley for a little extra zing. Garlic occasionally too.

    I do owe you an e-mail or three or four. Suffice to say, foot's taking up a great deal of time. I'm in therapy with it now, 3x/week. Working to try to bring the sensations back so I feel pain. The good AND bad news is that it's working. But speaking of working, I still am not. But at least the cast is now a soft, removable kind that I can take off to shower, for therapy, to swim (YES!!), and to SCRATCH. Oh, and thankfully, to SHAVE!! The fiberglass cast had become quite prickly.

    Hoping your well, and that your CHICKEN arrives soon!!

    Much love,
    Ellen ♥ CardMonkey

  12. Yummy!!!! Meatloaf.
    Meatloaf might be on the menu for this week :0)
    Thanks for the little glimpse into your youth....


  13. I adore meatloaf! It is one of my all time favorite comfort meals. My husband though, has horrid memories of the stuff from his childhood. :( I have yet to find the "perfect meatloaf" (to him) recipe. I'll def. give this one a go!!

    Love the illustrations and what fun memories to have!!



  14. Can't wait to try the meatloaf recipe. The ingredients all sound like a yummy combination! I am an Air Force "brat" so never was in one place for more than 18 months until I was 18 years old. Your childhood sounds so ...comforting. Your drawings are wonderful,Jenn. I like the inserted eggs! :-)

  15. Would you believe I have never tried meatloaf but that sounds scrumptious. The thought of the sauce caramelising, oh I'm drooling now. Love your great pics too. Couldn't play this week, too much going on with visitors etc, will be back this week coming. Holidays are over on tuesday (yippee, yahoo).


Please leave me a comment, I've sure missed hearing from you!


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