I was in the other room but her voice can carry. I looked down at the shopping list. It said “parsley [flat] and celery.”
I went into the kitchen to face the music. She was standing there, parsley in one hand and the celery — which I had bought — in the other. She was waving them like mismatched green pompoms.
“I can explain,” I began.
“Really? You know I hate curly parsley.” She was beyond angry.
“I did not take the shopping list. I knew we needed parsley. I just got confused.”
“What about the shopping list?”
“I didn’t take it.”
“Why didn’t you call?”
“Didn’t take my phone. Can I help make this?”
“Yes. Leave the kitchen.”
Okay, maybe I should have taken the list. I just had an almost-senior moment in the store when I got there. All the way over, I had had the mantra “flat not curly” but when I got to the produce section all I could remember was “maybe flat, maybe curly.” It happens.
As for the phone. Well, don’t you sometimes just want to go out? With no agenda set in stone. With no electronic leash tying you back to everyone and everything. To just go out, and be free of contacts, contracts, and all that rigidity?
Is it possible to have two middle aged crises in your life?
We had bought this pack of ground meat with beef, pork and veal. It’s the perfect arrangement for a great meat loaf. Not too beefy. Not too rich. Difference with a style. Before I had left for the market, I had tried to find a recipe in one of our meat books. Suzen had sent me off to the store with an “I’ll take care of it” statement. Say, maybe that is what fried my brain?
After our parsley and phone discussion, I left her alone.
“I need you,” she finally said. The ingredients had been mixed together, put in a BIG metal casserole pan, and she needed ketchup poured on top.
Instantly I saw green. Lots of green chopped up but I could tell: she had really used that curly parsley. There were lovely green spirals in the meat mix. Should I say something? Thank her? Hell, chide her?
She was wearing rubber gloves. She would leave no fingerprints if she took some “executive action.” I decided to reduce my personal risk. I shut up and poured the ketchup.
This meatloaf isn’t just good. It’s great, truly great with a lovely smooth flavor. Tinted, of course, by the tones of the parsley, but I’m not going to mention that again.
Preparation is easy. Put everything in a bowl, and mix with your hands. It’s messy, which is why she was wearing those rubber gloves.
The next day? Toasted challah, some ketchup, a sliced onion, and you can have a remarkable meatloaf sandwich.
Suzen’s Triple Meat Meatloaf
Yield: about 2 pounds
- One package of three ground meats, beef, pork and veal (about .5 pounds each), total 1.5 pounds
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 celery rib, minced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- ½ cup Italian parsley minced
- ½ cup catsup or to taste
- 2 large eggs
- Worchester sauce
- Tabasco Sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350⁰F.
Mix together by hand all the ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to a large enough metal baking container. Top with more catsup and bake for 90 minutes.
Source: Suzen O’Rourke
Slow food versus fast food. Slow food versus very slow food. Long cooking times can enable flavors and textures that simply are not possible with a microwave, a deep fryer or a simple broiler. Here’s a perfect example. You start with cooked white beans, adorn them with a parade of additional flavors and let the combination bake away for hours. And the result? These are baked beans unlike anything you have ever had.
“More?” Brian asked me.
“I can make more,” I said. I watched the tears fall from his eyes and all I could think was: leverage!
Your husband, wife or partner will beg you for these beans. Do not give up this recipe or your control. Slow is good. Very slow is very good.
Made according to this recipe, the chipotle here adds smokiness but only modest heat. The sugar and molasses of course add sweetness but also a stickiness that appeals. This a great complement to chicken wings or burgers. You will truly enjoy this complex combination of flavors.
Smoked Chipotle Baked Beans
Serves: 4 to 6 modestly, 2 persons hungrily
- One 16-ounce can cooked white beans
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ¼ pound uncooked bacon, finely diced
- ¾ cup molasses
- ½ cup ketchup
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 smoked, dried chipotle pepper, seeded and crushed
- 1 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro.
Heat the oil in a fryer to 350°F.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the beans, onion, bacon, molasses, ketchup, brown sugar, chipotle, mustard, salt, Worcestershire, and cilantro. Mix well.
Transfer the mixture to a buttered 5- to 6-inch deep baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 4 hours. Check the beans every hour for moisture content. If they become too dry, add a little water.
Serve piping hot.
Source: Wings Across America by Armand Vandersitgchel