The meatloaf, and the ruination thereof

And we must ask ourselves, what is the meatloaf? Be it meat or loaf? The French declare it to be pain de viande, which translates as “meat bread.” Does this settle the question or confound, for how can bread – cherished conveyor of coldcuts – also be the meat? Should we not instead call it bûche de viande? Should we perhaps not have translated the French at all, especially now that we know that bûche de viande means “meat log”? C’est possible, mon cher lait de poule.

Next, if we are to truly ruin the meatloaf, we must raise the meatloaf in our esteem and in the esteem of our kinfolk. As you pore over back issues of Canadian Living in search of something to feast upon, something to wrench your household out of its gastronomical rut, you turn a page and, like an oven light dawning, declare, “What about meatloaf?” And your loved ones reply, “Meatloaf? Ugh!”

And thus it falls upon you to praise the meatloaf, its melting pot simplicity, its democracy of flavours. Is it not savoury? Is it not meaty? Is it not simple to slice with a butter knife and even easier to chew anon? The meatloaf is all these things and many other things we’re not quite sure of. That is the mystery.

But the meatloaf must also do its part. In order to ruin the meatloaf, the meatloaf must first want to be ruined. It must seek to soar, knowing it will fall. Fly, meatloaf, to the heavens! Fly too close to the sunflower seeds, or in this case, the wheat germ, shredded carrot and zucchini described in the recipe.

“Glazed! Fibre-packed and nutrient-dense!” you preach to your beloveds. “It says right here that my ‘little ones will gobble these up.’” O hubris! “And look: they’re mini! Mini individual meatloaves you bake in a muffin tin.”

“So, they’re meatballs?”

Nay, measly meatballs they are not. These be mighty barbecue-glazed mini meatloaves, the fanciest pants of all the meatloaves. Does your family fail to see that the first ingredient is not ketchup, not spaghetti sauce, but passata, strained tomatoes? Never have you graced your table with passata. You are on such a high plain of sophistication now that you refrain from saying, “I made a passata woman at the grocery store and she hip-checked me right in the hollandaise.” As refrain you should.

Now you have elevated the meatloaf, raised it up, filled it with a longing to be smothered by the homemade barbecue sauce (O passata!) as well as the shredded carrot, which in itself may not ruin the meatloaf but you’re beginning to suspect will certainly help.

But go! Go now to your freezer. Ignore the numbing of your fingers as you dig deep, further down than you thought possible, to at last the darkest corners where lie the forgotten bags of shredded zucchini, deposited there these many years, possibly even transferred from the old freezer. Could that be true? To truly ruin the meatloaf, it must be true! Have faith, mon oreille de crisse!

For time is your ally in ruining the meatloaf, or rather the passing of time and its wasting of all things, including, apparently, the wheat bran. Should wheat bran smell that way? Like an infrequently opened drawer? Maybe you should Google that. But would Genghis Khan Google Chaka Khan? He would not, warrior friend. Tell yourself, “It’s organic; it’s supposed to smell weird,” and blend. Blend like the wind! Proceed with the desolation of the meatloaf by kneading in the wheat germ in tandem with the zucchini, and you’re not entirely convinced about the pasatta, to be perfectly honest.

Bake at 400 F for 12 to 14 minutes.

Behold your muffin tins of meat! Are you not already suspecting they smell funky? Have you an inkling that something is awry, and not simply too much garlic? Could you truly have ruined them so entirely? You dare not hope. For they look, still, like perfectly edible meat muffins (brioche de viande).

There is only one way to conclude whether your meatloaves have, as the prophet foretold, choked the big kahuna. You take a bite, you pause, and you say to your kin, “You might want ketchup.” And another bite to be certain. “Lots of ketchup.” And then you will eat of it no more.

For, rejoice, you have ruined meatloaf. Celebrate with an extra baked potato that thank goodness you have on hand. And it shall come to pass that the abominated barbecue-glazed mini meatloaves are indeed gobbled up, as it is written, only not by the little ones but by the hound of the house.

Bucket o' loaves

Bucket o’ loaves

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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
This entry was posted in Family - whadya gonna do?, It Really Did Happen! and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to The meatloaf, and the ruination thereof

  1. … are you sure those aren’t carrot muffins? They sure look like carrot muffins to me.

  2. Letizia says:

    “In order to ruin the meatloaf, the meatloaf must first want to be ruined” I love that line, that meat, just loafing around,waiting to be ruined.

  3. pinklightsabre says:

    Oh good gracious. How you managed to knead in Chaka Khan, and make a passata woman in the grocery aisle. Fighting form, lad.

  4. That the meatloaf was made to resemble some of the godawful vegan options I’ve been trying takes real skill.

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    My kids like meatloaf. My hubs loves it. Not so sure they’d feel the same if they saw this. 😉

  6. Brill, man! Makes me look at meatloaf in a whole different light. Much dimmer.

    I will say, I was taken aback at the translation of oreille de crisse

  7. franhunne4u says:

    Looks perfectly edible to me … But hey, I am german – the English call us huns – that is a tribe of barbarians.

  8. beth says:

    it’s all a matter of finding the right audience. there is a market for everything.

  9. markbialczak says:

    I would flee from these like a Bat Out of Hell, Ross.

  10. goldfish says:

    In order not to ruin meatloaf, one must start with a recipe that doesn’t include wheat germ, shredded carrot and zucchini. Meat, in loaf form–actually, meat in most forms–tends to follow an Occam’s razor sort of logic, where simple is best.

    I wholeheartedly support the concept of meat muffins though.

  11. Who is ‘anon’? I bet it’s the newell post-sitting cat.

  12. Paul says:

    Arrrgh – you put those veggie polluted meatthingys in an emtpy Cool Whip bucket? That’s just plain teasing. Who ate all the Cool Whip? And is there a message there?: Eat all the Cool Whip and you’ll have to eat the yucky meatthingys? Is it supposed to be a deterrent to those who would eat all the Cool Whip. What cruel and unusual punishment – the most scrumptious food (without any nutritional value) ever made by man – Cool Whip – and the worst tasting albeit nutrient bulging food (meat cupcakes) in the same container. Gads, you are a devious man Ross.

    I hope your dog is OK – maybe the what germ was past its prime- although I seem to remember some active and viable wheat germ being dug up from a Pharoh’s tomb – so it likely has a shelf-life in excess of 4 or 5 millenia. Most tasteless high nutrition food does.

    Funy post, especially given I already hate meatloaf without the additions you suggested.

  13. Now I want my mom’s meatloaf….sigh.

  14. The French do it again… “meat bread” is clearly the best name, or at least the one that most makes me giggle! There’s always room for do-overs, and I think you get an E for effort!

  15. I’m glad you tagged this ‘it really did happen’ because I thought it was a gullibility check. I thought you were trying to start one of those internet scams that goes viral. So that pic isn’t Photoshopped? Is that what you want us to believe?

    I’m so inept in the kitchen that I once ruined Jell-O. Jell-O! I wanted it fast-fast so instead of putting it in the ‘fridge I put it in the freezer. Made sense to me at the time. It never got past a mucousy, slushy consistency.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I didn’t think anyone ever checked those tags. They’re meant to be helpful, so good. No photoshop, just terrible lighting, creating a sickly orange hue.

      Meat Jell-O. It’s going to be huge. (As I write that, I realize I’ve just described aspic.)

  16. Rosemary – whilst I laughed the good laugh (and hip-checked my spouse) I must decree that those are meatballs with shredded carrot…which is an abomination to meatballs and horrifying to carrots. Everyone is insulted! Huzzah! Huzzah! Or are they the aftermath of what the hound produced post-eat? Hee hee…. and how come we have no ‘beforemath’?

    Brilliant piece – I’m glad I stopped by! You are still going strong. And what’s the state of the facial hair these days?

  17. Ned's Blog says:

    I’m sorry, but zucchini stuffed, kneaded or otherwise burried into meatloaf is kitchen blasphemy. I’ll have my vegetables on the side please. It makes them easier to scrape from my plate when no one is looking.

    And I’m not sure I’ll ever filly recover from the term “meat log.”

  18. Yahooey says:

    Maybe Purina would be interested in the recipe.

  19. I usually look at the recipes on the interwebs and think, “I could never cook that.” I’m pretty sure I could make those meatloafballs. Thanks for instilling a little confidence in me today.

  20. cat9984 says:

    Perhaps since you are naming it in French, it just needed more sauce. With lots of cream and butter.

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