Meatloaf Means Home

Last night I made meatloaf.  And yes, I’m writing a post about it.  Here’s why- to me, meatloaf is home. The women in my family (with the exception of my aunt) aren’t exactly creative in the kitchen.  I’m pretty sure the only dish my grandmother could make (and burn) was meatloaf. Thank goodness my mom tweaked that recipe and made it her own. Meatloaf became my favorite meal as a kid, and the one that was least processed (sorry mom and dad).  

As an adult, I’ve learned that it’s amazing the divide a conversation over meatloaf can create.  See, not everyone is a meatloaf fan. When people say they hate it, they are passionate about it. I tell them they haven’t had mine.  It’s that good. I pride myself on converting people to the right side.

Luckily, for the survival of all of the women in our family, our husbands enjoyed cooking or at least shared the part.  They never could, however, replicate the meatloaf. My stepdad even tried to spice it up as “hamburger pie.” Trust me, it’s as bad as it sounds.

This is my go-to dish when money is tight or when I need my kids to eat.  And, to be honest, it’s usually my default when my husband isn’t around to make something yummy.  My kids all eat it and ask for seconds (basically a miracle). My husband, who doesn’t understand this phenomenon, has tried his hand at it.  The kids flat out tell him that his is terrible.  

The meatloaf reminds me of family dinners around the table.  A full tummy and one meal where there wasn’t much arguing over finishing the plate.  It’s my comfort food and brings me back to sitting next to my own mom at the dinner table.

So yesterday morning, when I was a little down, I made my decision.  I told the boys I would be making meatloaf for dinner. To say they were pumped would be an understatement.  When I picked them up from school, Jake’s first question was, “Mom, we are still having meatloaf, right?!” My heart exploded.  

All day long this kid has been looking forward to MY meatloaf.  And I’m not going to lie, I was too. Time to sit with the kids as they ate without argument as I sit and reflect on my sweet dinner memories about the most random dinner centerpiece.  I know I’m doing something right as a mom. I’m creating memories of home, just like my mom did. I hope as adults the kids come back and ask for the meatloaf and maybe one day Madilyn makes it for her kids and feels the same way.

It may not be a fancy lasagna passed down for centuries, but to us, it’s just as sacred.

What dish brings up your best childhood memories?!  Extra points if it’s meatloaf!

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