A long time ago, when we were still relatively newly married, my wife compiled a list of the characteristics that she thought I would want a restaurant to have in order to be a place that I'd like -
- a quiet, calm atmosphere
- china plates, heavy silver utensils, cut-crystal glasses
- quiet music
- crisp linen napkins and tablecloths
- deferential, knowledgeable waiters
- meatloaf. Good meatloaf.
That's the kind of person I am (or at least, like to think that I am). I like elegance and grace, and I like meatloaf.
For years I would make meatloaf right out of the Betty Crocker cookbook. It was good, but nothing remarkable. And then one day I discovered a recipe for meatloaf that combined ground beef and sausage. It was better, though not amazingly so, but it incorporated brown sugar in the mix of ingredients, and it was coated with a glaze of brown sugar and catsup. It was excellent.
Yesterday I said to my daughter I'm going to be making meatloaf tonight, to which her laconic reply was Okay. When I was done mixing the ingredients, I asked her would you rather I leave off the glaze? And she replied It doesn't matter, because I won't be having any. I don't like meatloaf, You know that.
Well, number one, I don't know that. She used to not care for it, but over time she began to eat it. And second, did I not warn her in advance? Yeah, but I meant I will just make my own dinner. Ah. Okay. So I ended up with the mixture, to which I added the brown sugar and some of the other extra ingredients - pepper, garlic powder, things like that -- and to which, once it had cooked, I added the glaze. I wasn't sure how good it would be -- it didn't have the sausage, after all -- but what the heck, it was meatloaf.
It was terrific.