Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day In The Boondocks

Silly Siblings
Originally uploaded by boondockma
As the ATM's buzz about in the dunes a few miles away, we're looking forward to another fun day at home, enjoying the sights and sounds around us. The birds flitting about, singing their merry little songs, the cats purring as they rub against us, and trailing after the kids as they scamper about the property, working up an appetite for tonight's dinner.

Yesterday was a similar scene at our house. The biggest difference between the two days was what we dined on at the end of the day. While we did utilize the grill, last nights dinner consisted of meatloaf (another successful grill experiment!), mashed potatoes, and brussel sprouts. A bit of a comfort food meal which did a fine job of satisfying the kids' hunger pangs.

Later this afternoon, Pa will fire up the grill once again. As the cats and the kids take a break from their busy day to gather round in eager anticipation, he will carefully place the chicken which has been marinating since 8 AM on the grill. I will wash and tear the lettuce for the salad, and hopefully, by then will have decided on a second side dish for our holiday meal. I think I'm going to try something different for tonight's dessert. If successful, I'll post the results tomorrow!Of course, that depends on whether we decide we really need a dessert after the meal we'll be consuming!

Speaking of posting results...Yesterday's meatloaf may be worth posting about! Although I preferred the flavor combination in our previous meatloaf experiment, I was much happier with the consistency of our latest concoction. There were two things that I believe made a difference. First was the liquid content. This time I limited my total liquid (not counting the eggs, which I kept at 2) to 8 oz. Secondly, we tried cooking it in the loaf pan this time. It came out perfect! After letting it stand for 10-15 minutes I placed a platter over the top, and carefully turned it over. It plopped out in one perfect loaf shape, and sliced beautifully. I highly recommend this method of cooking if you want to keep the kitchen cool, or if you think you might like that hint of smoky flavor added to your masterpiece ;-)

This time I used
1 lb. grnd beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 each red and green bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 sleeve soda crackers, crushed
2 eggs
8 oz. tomato sauce
about 1 1/2 tsp. each oregano and basil
salt and pepper

mix it all up, pop in a loaf pan and bake in the kettle grill (covered) over indirect heat for about 1 1/2 hours, or til juices run clear.

Note: Next time I'll probably increase the basil to 2 or even 3 tsp. Also, I usually like to add shredded carrot and/or zucchini to my meatloaf, but I didn't have any on hand this time.

For another variation , refer to my East Meets West Meatloaf recipe, and vary according to your families taste preferences. That's one of the things I really like about meatloaf. The variations are endless!

We will be taking some time today to stop and reflect on the meaning of this holiday. We honor all those men and women who served our country.Our thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their loved ones during that service, as well as those who's loved ones are even now, across the sea, unable to join their families today.


SonyaAnn said...

I'm glad that you had a nice weekend. Den is BBQing right now. Go meat!

Boondock Ma (Kim's Mom) said...

I expect there are a lot of grills cookin' today! Hope your meal turned out great!

A.Marie said...

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SonyaAnn said...

It did!

Kim said...

Mom, I've been thinking about your oven dilemma...while I am certainly impressed by your ability to "bake" by other means, I would think it would be nice to make cookies on occasion. Have you looked into getting a small toaster oven? Many of them have temp dials that go up to 400* if not higher! They don't use up that much power, so it might work out - certainly cheaper to replace than an entire oven!

Boondock Ma (Kim's Mom) said...

Hi Kimmi! Thanks for the idea! That's something that might work. I've thought about getting one of those gas grills, as they have temp controls and wouldn't impart the smoky taste I'm really not looking for in most sweet things, but they're so expensive! I'll have to look around next time we're at Bi-Mart and see what their prices are like on toaster ovens. Or who knows, maybe I'll get lucky at Grocery Outlet! ;-)