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Letting my meat loaf

November 17, 2010

I am a haphazard cook at best.  I would rather be outside gardening or photographing cow manure than meal planning and cooking.  So I wing it – a lot.  But cooking is not so bad if you have good ingredients on hand.  So I make sure my pantry is stocked to the gills with good foods.  Mind you my pantry right now is still pretty much the garden.

Veronica F1.

Lutz and Veronica F1.

Eat your colors.

Summer harvest basket.

A standout in the garden the last few years has been colored cauliflower.  So pretty, and so easy to grow.  We stuffed the freezer with a great amount of these heads, and we have also been eating it fresh every week since August.  Mild, delicious and did I say pretty?  Oh my, what a change from the Victorian penchant for blanched, pale vegetables which really look wan and tasteless compared to these.  Eat my colors indeed!  And my first seed catalog arrived the other day – I can’t wait until next year 🙂

But in all seriousness, I still need to cook dinner.  I love meatloaf.   How boring is that?  Not your school cafeteria type of TVP meatloaf, but a real farm and garden meatloaf.  With ingredients grown and harvested here.

I am such a loafer, thawing the meat and mixing it in the dish I will bake it in…I also don’t really follow a recipe.  A pound each of ground beef and pork, grated onion, a couple cloves of garlic, 2 – 3 pullet eggs, a couple handfuls  of chopped cilantro, chickweed, and celeriac stems (anything green will do here),  a little sage, salt & pepper, mix well and bake.

Served with a mash of rutabaga and potatoes (rice for Hangdog) and a dab of gravy from the drippings – Delicious!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2010 8:49 am

    Looks wonderful. We’re fans of meatloaf, too.
    And I like your cauliflower! My husband only likes broccoli but I may just grow some cauliflower for myself sometime. 🙂

    • November 17, 2010 10:12 am

      klsgrem, broc is good, but I tire of it much more than the cauliflower, and the cauliflower is holding much better in garden. We do both since my daughter is the broccoli eater around here. The colors and shapes are always a little astonishing in the garden, since they remain a little hidden with the wrapper leaves.

  2. November 17, 2010 9:39 am

    Oh my this looks so good. I can’t believe how beautiful the vegetables look and the colours…WOW! You certainly are eating your colours and I bet the flavors are wonderful. Maybe next year I’ll try some of these different veggies…hubbies not too much into vegetables but he’s getting better. Now I just need to find some good recipes for them! I hope you’re having a wonderful day up there in the Pacific Northwest. Take care.
    Maura 🙂

    • November 17, 2010 10:07 am

      Maura, it is good – and great for leftovers too. He’ll warm to them I bet if you introduce them slow 🙂

      It’s one of those gray, warm windy days just before a big Pacific storm rolls in – very stimulating outside to say the least!

  3. Diana Smith permalink
    November 17, 2010 10:24 am

    When we got married 44 years ago the only veggies my hubby ate were potatoes,green beans and corn….now he looked at the pics and said we ought to try that yellow cauliflower! Training takes time! And he oughta know you just can’t grow cauliflower in so. MO unless you have a magical year which is about one out of ten…but still,ever optimistic, I plant cool weather crops spring and fall for the few fresh returns we do get.

    Wanted to say how much we love your farm -often becoming the background my computer–and have learned alot reading thru your archives on cattle/pasture management. We can usually pasture our cows thru Jan. here but goal is year round with minimal supplentary hay. This is beef country and most don’t seem to do anything with pastures but instead feed expensive hay/grain. Do admit to feeding lots of apples/pears to our girls! DEE

    • November 17, 2010 2:38 pm

      Diana, that is sweet! Yes it does take some training – my hubby didn’t like squash or pumpkin pie when we met, but I knew he was keeper when he suggested Brussels sprouts for the vegetable in the first meal I cooked for him 😉 Little did he know…

      We live in the land of cool weather crops, even so, the brocs and cauli’s like it when they finish in fall. Our summers are dry although not as hot as what you get, so we still have to plan for fall maturity on some crops.

      Have you read any of Greg Judy’s stuff? He’s in MO but I am not sure where, he is doing a bang up job of High Density Grazing.

  4. November 17, 2010 10:42 am

    I’m a cook myself, and my philosophy about food has changed over the years. While I am not about to give up my cookbooks, I rarely use them anymore. I think the fundamental art of cooking is freshness and understanding the ingredients for unique capabilities (like understanding the difference between starchy potatoes and waxy potatoes).

    Hooray for the cauliflower! I particularly like it sauteed or roasted. Yum yum.

    • November 17, 2010 1:48 pm

      VGC, I have just regressed to what I learned as a child – cooking from scratch with what was on hand – 4-H and Home Ec in high school filled in the finer points. I grew up around people who cooked from what they grew, and absorbed a seasonal sense from that.

      I think roasted is about the best with cauliflower, even the frozen cauliflower lends itself to that method if drained well after thawing. But I am not touching any freezer stores until we eat what is in the garden. If it doesn’t freeze this week, I will just leave it be.

  5. Ben permalink
    November 17, 2010 10:58 am

    This is Ben, I’ve been following your blog now for about a year and love every post! I currently live in Portland but will be moving back to Hood River in the spring. I’m starting a small market garden and have plans to add animals to the mix and do a bit of homesteading. I have access to some land and am trying to read and learn all I can about farming. I feel like I have a good understanding of gardening as well as some experience but animals are another story. Anyway I would love to come see your farm and learn how you do things. I know you probably don’t have time for tours or whatever but maybe I could tag along some day and just help you with chores so I’m not a nuisance. I’m a good worker, easy going and easy to get along with! Shoot me an email when you have time, thanks!

  6. November 17, 2010 12:26 pm

    OT: How do you add the little photos beside your name?

    • November 17, 2010 1:41 pm

      Pam, it’s just part of my WordPress account. If I use the url for this blog to comment on a Blogger blog the avatar shows up also.

  7. November 17, 2010 4:34 pm

    You know that is how most of us were raised. I know I was raised to eat things in season. It is so confusing to see a vegetable in the grocery store that has been grown some where else to have it for the consumer.

    I am getting back to the basics because it is so much healthier for us. I love the colors of your vegetables. Since we live so far from anything I have given up fast food and besides it is so bad for you.

    Hope you are having a great week.
    Pam

  8. November 18, 2010 6:50 am

    Just love your blog, truly wonderful post as always and wow, I love those veggies, what wonderful photos indeed.. Part of my morning after chores is to sit down with a fresh mug of tea and check my favorite blogs.

  9. November 18, 2010 11:23 am

    God Bless ya! I have yet to meet a meatlof I like 😉 And I try really hard…..really I do!

  10. November 18, 2010 4:44 pm

    We love meatloaf, too – so simple yet so many variations and leftover uses! Lately I’ve discovered roasted paprika which I add to our loaves for a nice smoky hint of barbecue. 😉

    • November 18, 2010 4:55 pm

      Krystal, that sounds good – I’ll have to try that. This last one tasted better cold the next day for a quick snack! I can imagine how good it would be with smoky paprika. 🙂

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