Monday, February 21, 2005

Comfort food, take 97 

Yesterday was a wintry, grey day. It snowed, it rained, it was cold. I napped and decided to cook something for dinner that would make me feel safe—meat loaf, corn, baked potatoes. The best thing about my meat loaf recipe is that it’s easily adaptable—it’s really just guidelines. The second best thing is how I got it—when I moved into my first off-campus housing, the women who’d rented the space before us left us a recipe box full of their tried and true recipes.

Midway through the afternoon, a long-time friend called. She was having a similar day, both weather-wise and food-wise, and she wanted to make a pumpkin pie, but didn’t feel like making a crust and didn’t have one in the house. “What I really need is a good pumpkin bar recipe!” Which I had, and now you’ll have it, too.

Frog’s meat loaf recipe
1 pound hamburger
3 slices bread, crumbled
½ c. milk
1 beaten egg
½ tsp dry mustard
1 tsp sage
1 tsp allspice
1 tbsp worc. sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup (or tomato, or whatever sounds good)
salt and pepper

Combine everything, put it in a loaf pan, and bake at 350 for one hour.

(Note that the original recipe calls for the soup to be poured over everything--I mix it in, because I like my meatloaf very soft and not all that loaf-like. YMMV.)

Pumpkin bars
4 eggs
1 c. oil
2 c. sugar
1 15 oz can pumpkin
2 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix oil, eggs, sugar, and pumpkin. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour into jelly-roll pan (or cookie sheet with sides). Bake at 350 for 25 minutes (start checking at 15 minutes). Frost with cream cheese frosting.

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