...in which I share a recipe, give you tales from 30-minute napdom, set the record straight about my mad knitting skills, explain why it takes me a few days to respond to your gmail emails, get all preachy about eating meat loaf my particular way, and talk about how BLOGGER HATES ME.
You guys are sweet. So sweet, in fact, that you gave my mad knitting skills far more credit than they deserve: I didn't knit the adorable brown cherry hat. That was a gift from (ready for this relative craziness?) Alice's second cousin, A. Okay, it really was a gift from Alice's first cousins once removed (that would be A's parents, K and T), but doesn't it sound all cute that Alice's second cousin gave her a gift? Yes, I thought so too. A is also the giver of the most adorable green mary jane shoes that Alice is sporting in the brown hat pictures. I put them on her as much as possible because I LOVE ME SOME MARY JANES, and these are just too cute for words. I'm saying that you'll see them again.
I really need to check gmail more often. I usually get in there every couple of days, but when things reach a certain level of RED ZONE, my visits drop off. The last few days have been rife with more of that irritating (and boring) NAP MADNESS. I've been futzing with Alice's nappage to see if I could orchestrate at least one long nap into our days. Around here, 30 is the new 45 for a girl who used to limit her shut eye to 45-minute increments. 30 minute naps are the Chinese water torture of naps. Just long enough for someone to walk downstairs, fold a small stack of laundry, make a sandwich, sit down to eat the sandwich when HELLO AWAKE AWAKE AWAKE annnnnnnd sandwich sits uneaten on the counter for another good long while. After doing this twice a day for the last couple of weeks I am good and fried. So far, I have tried keeping her awake longer, tried rocking her longer, tried letting her sleep with an article of my clothing, tried swaddling her, tried unswaddling her, tried napping with her, tried limiting her to one nap (oh that was fun), tried tried tried just about anything. In case you were wondering, so far nothing has made a major difference, but it seems like some of the small things are combining to move the dial at least a bit-- like extending the afternoon nap by 20 minutes or more, which is a miracle in and of itself.
So. Compounded with the nap-induced anxiety, I had a bad day on Wednesday. I was all, NO COMMENTS? NONE? and then I felt a little, um, dumb, as a person is wont to do when they post an entry about their lovely husband's birthday and no one says anything, not even DUDE I DON'T EAT MEATLOAF. I was even ready with a meatloaf disclaimer, which I will share with you now. Ready?
Meat loaf. I know. It doesn't even sound good. Anything with "loaf" attached to it just sounds icky. But mom's meat loaf? Is AMBROSIA. It's the kind of good that gets even better when you combine it with other things on your plate: green salad with blue cheese, sour cream mashed potatoes, steamed carrots. This is the meat loaf that will convert the most ardent meat loaf hater. This is the meat loaf that will have said meat loaf hater actually request the meat loaf for his birthday dinner. Yes, it's that good.
The meat loaf was amazing, and is amazing, and I will share the recipe here - and I will also tell you that it's not for the calorie faint-of-heart, but as far as I'm concerned, when you're going for a birthday dinner, you're not exactly trying for low cal, you know? I have made this recipe with ground turkey and didn't see any problems, so there's that. Also, I had a friend who substituted some of the ground meat with chopped mushrooms - but I don't personally know how that affected the cooking time. Can I make a suggestion? If you do decide to chance my fantabulous meat loaf, please don't go crazy and put any sauce on it. Chip will occasionally try to urge me in the direction of having sauce available, and I'm all ARE YOU CRAZY? THIS MEAT LOAF IS TOO GOOD FOR SAUCE! And of course I think I'm right. So try it without doing any ketchup or red sauce or gravy or any of that nonsense. Either that, or just don't tell me about the sauce because I think it's insulting to the poor meat loaf. This meat loaf is man enough to stand on its OWN, my friends. (Though the earlier plate content mixing I mentioned is different than a SAUCE. Like you can take a nice forkful of meat loaf and then brush it into the mashed potatoes and then take the whole thing and sort of run it by the salad with the blue cheese dressing and oh MY I'm making myself salivate just thinking about it.)
Without further delay:
Mom's Meat Loaf
1 lb ground burger
3/4 cup sharp cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup oats
Mix ingredients well. Place in baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour in 375-400 degree oven.
Try it. You won't be disappointed. In case you were all, WOW WHIMSY YOU MADE THAT ROCKING MEAT LOAF AND THAT CAKE? YOU'RE A DOMESTIC GODDESS. You should know that I AM a domestic goddess (HA), but the cake was totally a box cake: vanilla cake with milk chocolate frosting. However, I do think I should get some extra credit for the fact that it was a THREE LAYER CAKE made in the most adorable 6-inch cake pan but because I only had one pan I was baking for over an hour and a half which is quite extensive when you're also watching a baby that will not sleep for longer than HALF of The Price is Right. Oh, but where was I? I was talking about Wednesday and how it was a no-good day. So here I am, having a terrible nap day, and I haven't eaten a decent lunch and I go to check on Blogger and it's all, NO COMMENTS. And I'm all, Really? And Blogger's all, NO COMMENTS. And I check back later and Blogger's all, YOU REALLY DON'T HAVE ANY COMMENTS. And I'm all, Okay, sniff... So I check back again that night, and Blogger's all, LISTEN LOSER YOU DON'T HAVE ANY COMMENTS SO STOP ASKING ME ABOUT IT. And then I told Blogger that it was a big stupid bully.
Imagine my intense pleasure Saturday night when I read an email from Shelly (see I'm actually getting back to my ORIGINAL POINT ABOUT GMAIL AND MY SAD EMAIL CHECKING SKILLS) - and I see that Shelly* has kindly let me know that she tried to comment on Wednesday and wasn't able to because Blogger HATES ME. Okay, maybe she didn't say it exactly that way, but don't you think? Blogger hates me and wants me to go eat worms.
Instead, I'm thinking another meat loaf is in order.
* And here's my second disclaimer of the day: I'm going to just ASSUME, for the sake of my SANITY and WELL BEING and also SELF ESTEEM that Shelly represents, like, FORTY OF YOU who tried to comment and couldn't - and that she wasn't (as is most likely the case) just the ONLY PERSON that tried to comment about the husband's rocking birthday bash (can I say it was a rocking birthday bash when there were only three of us? Yes, yes I can.).