Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Cooking Experiment - Meatloaf

I don't know if I've said this before but I am not a cook. Luckily, my husband is a great cook or we'd all starve. Not only am I not a cook, I probably shouldn't cook. Anyone who knows me has probably tasted one of my "creations" and thought I should stay far away from a stove. Even a microwave is iffy.

I've decided to change that.

No, I haven't suddenly fallen in love with cooking. To me, cooking is something you have to do because food tastes better when it's warm. I have never been nor do I imagine myself ever becoming a "foody." But lately I've felt this urge to pay more attention to the every day, small, important things in life, like food and shelter and growing a garden. Maybe it's a middle-age, pre-menopausal thing. I've spent my entire life being supremely, intellectually creative, putting all my energy into acting, dancing and writing, saying I didn't have time to clean or cook a meal because I had more important things to do. I was an ARTIST.

My husband was probably as surprised as I when I said, "I'm going to cook meatloaf."

He blinked a few times, then said, "You're brave."

"Why do you say that?"

"I never have luck with meatloaf. It's always gooey on the inside and burnt on the edges."

"We have all that hamburger in the fridge we need to use so I'm going to make a meatloaf. I haven't had meatloaf in years."

"Sounds good." I'm sure he was thinking about the frozen dinners in the freezer he could nuke if my meatloaf turned out as well as my other attempts at cooking.

The reason I haven't had meatloaf in years is because I'm a Celiac, which means I can't eat anything with Gluten, like wheat, barley, rye, or spelt. Most people make their meatloaf with bread crumbs, so I can't have it. Seeing as my bread is expensive, I decided to skip the breadcrumbs and instead used grated potatoes. We had several sitting in a bag in the pantry needing to be cooked and I read on a Celiac forum that grated potatoes work well.

I mixed up the meat, potatoes, Worcester sauce, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and one egg in a bowl, then flattened it into a 4 by 8 inch baking pan. After topping it with more tomato sauce and Worcester, I put it in the over to bake for 40 minutes. Simple recipe. Even I could figure this one out.

Did I cook something edible? The meat cooked all the way through, the edges didn't burn, and it smelled delicious. The potatoes cooked all the way, but stayed a little firm. I liked how it tasted, but since I haven't had meatloaf made with bread crumbs in over 10 years, I can't really compare it. My family ate it and my husband said it was good. Even my daughter ate it, although the strings of potato were weird.

So, that's my attempt to cook a meal from scratch, following a recipe in my Gluten Free cookbook, and using ingredients already in my house. No one got sick or begged for a TV dinner. However, the dog is probably bummed it turned out so well because she won't be getting this experiment.

What shall I cook next week?


therextras said...

Very cool. Hold the book closed and then let it fall open. Cook whatever is on one of the two pages showing.

Tell on the blog again!

Mother of Chaos said...

Awesome! Keep going!!