Making the meatloaf

It is how I know, after 56 years of marriage to the same man, I still love my husband. Well. Most days. I have always known, from the first visit to his parents’ home, that meatloaf will always be his first love. Right up there with Jesus and the Twelve. My mother made meatloaf too, but not like it was a religion.

Meatloaf, mac ‘n cheese, spaghetti sauce, apple pie and homemade ice cream are a few of those sacred foods that had better appear on the table exactly like your mama made.

You will notice that these are all comfort foods. Unlike, say, broccoli, or kale. A lot of raw broccoli makes it to the table and gets eaten, but kale, hardly ever. I don’t care how good it is for me. Kale will not ever compare to the wonders of ice cream. I know of one person in the world, at least in my world, who does not like ice cream, even if it’s chocolate. So if it’s going to be chocolate ice cream at my table, he gets a Twinkie. That’s as far as I’ll bend.

My small town America has a new, wonderful ice cream emporium. Well. It’s an ice cream store. But fabulous. They make their own small batch fab fat food, with incredible flavors. I buy them by the pint, three at a time. This week the take was Drambuie chocolate peanut butter, and no, I don’t share. I could wax poetic about the rum raisin, like silky velvet on the tongue, the flavor lingering, and so satisfying that I don’t sneak back for more. Tomorrow is another day; I can wait. I chose a second pint of strawberry vanilla, with chunks of red berries in the container. I park right in front, after the local traffic returns to work from lunch, and hem and haw while I read every flavor before I choose. Five bucks a pint is no worse than the commercial small batches I can buy at my local supermarket. Ice cream of superb quality is my new indulgence. I will wear it proudly on my hips. Well, some of it.

This week I’ll select butter pecan, chock full of my favorite nut and one which doesn’t make me break out in hives. Theirs is really buttery. I eat it slowly, licking the spoon dry between every bite. Making it last.

I’m rarely rhapsodic about food, don’t photograph it to text, and rarely recommend eateries to anyone but a select few, whose company I want at a meal because they really love me and make me laugh loudly all the time. My favorite pair helped me laugh at cancer on a regular basis. So sharing food with them means we stab each other’s plates with gusto, tasting, tasting, and drinking large quantities of wine. And scotch.

Understand. I rarely write about food. Did I just say that? Meatloaf does not move me like it does my husband. I mean, it’s meatloaf, people. But today he is so happy to sniff the air and know that meatloaf is for dinner. And for lunch the next five days. Hello, there are only two of us here, and the meatloaf is a four pounder.

This man loves his meatloaf. He doesn’t like changes made in it, and while his palate is not razzle dazzle, he knows if I add parsley, which he detests, or if I was heavy handed with the thyme and garlic. By the way, while he’s scarfing down meatloaf like I’ve given him a sip from the holy  grail,  I, without any rancor, am having filet mignon. Because that’s how I roll.


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