As the mother of TWO beautiful baby girls, I'm discovering how to make "Ashley's kitchen" into "Mama's kitchen." You know, like the kind in old movies and nostalgic country songs. Mama's kitchen - where everyone gathers to enjoy good food, weekend brunches, family dinners, and make lasting memories. That is my destination, and this is my journey.
Meatloaf is one of those dishes that causes most people to cringe at the mere mention of it. One of our friends once told me that his mom actually used it as a form of punishment. But not in our family. Meatloaf is and will always be one of my all-time favorite meals. This recipe has been handed down through the women in my family for several generations and is a favorite among my cousins and siblings. Some know it as "Grandma's meatloaf," others as "Mom's meatloaf," each of us altering it slightly as we go (mostly because Grandma doesn't use a recipe so it's impossible to actually duplicate hers). It's one of those recipes we had to learn to make by watching/helping from a young age. That's part of what makes it so special and comforting. Here's how this mama makes it:
My Mama's Meatloaf
made by mamas for generations
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pkg. reduced fat Ritz crackers, crushed
- 2 large eggs
- 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 t. Lawry's seasoning salt
- 1/2 t. black pepper
- 1/2 t. garlic powder
for the piquant sauce: (amounts are approximate, adjust to taste)
- 1 c. ketchup
- 1/4 c. mustard
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Finely chop the onion (only use half if it's a large one).
2. In a large bowl, mix ground beef and onion. Add the eggs and stir to combine.
(the only 90/10 ground beef we had was in patties)
3. Add Worcestershire sauce and spices. Crush Ritz crackers in the bag before opening, then pour onto beef mixture. Gently stir to combine.
4. Pour into an ungreased casserole dish or glass baking dish. Press down until even. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, make the piquant sauce. Mix ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Adjust to taste (this is how my mama taught me how to make it - we never had a recipe, just taste testers)
6. Remove from oven, top with sauce. Bake additional 15-20 minutes until meat is cooked through and sauce begins to bubble.
I just had to make this dish for my cousin, Tim, and his wife, Jill, when they came to visit last week. Like me, Grandma's meatloaf is one of Tim's favorites. Here are a few pics from their last day here - we gave them a personal tour of Butler University and stopped to take some family pics toward the end. What a wonderful day!