Well, I’m nobody’s Jonathan Frakes. Especially since every time I asked about when this cook-off was going to take place I got either a new answer or a shifting timetable with no promise of benchmarks. It was supposed to go down on Tuesday but of course all the “main” participants are too busy with writing something or IMing about fleecy pullovers.
I knew this would happen. If you want to copy some large, purposeless and public internet-meat-based phenomenon, you best do it yourself. My plan was hatched at the DPlan show when the participants in this spectacle were beginning to get wishy-washy on the details. Fine, I said to myself, while the rest of you cats hem and haw and go see the Wrens on Saturday, I’m going to get off the pot and make myself some meatcakes.
First things first - a recipe. Fortunately, a kickass recipe has been handed down through the Pyggy lines since Grendel’s time and I have my mother’s hand-written copy above the microwave. Actually, the entire cookbook is handwritten (probably about 250 recipes) but often features unforgivable mistakes throughout (sugar cookie recipe lacks sugar as ingredient) and each one is punctuated with the name of the author. The meat loaf entry was one of several scribed by my mother but it’s the only one where she includes her maiden name. I assume it’s meant to remind the world that this recipe is from her family and was dreamt up before she was saddled with her new and horrible last name.
Second things second – I needed a spouseless house. This experiment is the G’s baby and if I wanted to ruin it out of spite it needed to be conducted in secret, away from the prying eyes of my wife and her internet minions. On Saturday, she and CA were off to see kids with sunburns and sockless loafers fight each other at the Tombs. But she Would. Not. Leave. I kept suggesting she head out early on account of bad parking or burning libraries or pink polos or whatever other hazards would slow her roll on M Street.
Finally, she left and I did that thing where you crack all your knuckles at once and laughed evilly. Meatcake is GO!
Okay. Here are my observations for anyone trying to, eventually, follow in my footsteps. Keep in mind that I never actually read any of the other websites that proceeded in this experiment before me. There is probably a “right” way to do this. The following, probably, isn’t.
- Buying the ingredients of Staurday night at 8pm makes you look like the saddest bachelor in the history of sad-sack losers. My recipe was for a single loaf and I estimated that I needed about 2.5 times those ingredients. That meant about 4 pounds of hamburger meat, five cups of grated cheese, several eggs, milk and 4 cups of corn flakes. No fruit, no vegetables, no folic acid - nothing that anyone would ever claim could be a healthy meal for a woman. Plus, I bought hair gel.
- Meatcake is not cheap. I spent $40+ on the ingredients.
- Quick – how much un-grated cheese equals 5 cups of grated? No one will ever know, except me. And I'm not giving up any of my secrets, only to say that there are two bricks of cheese in our fridge if you need to reinforce your patio or if you have an enemy who is lactose intolerant.
- Safeway brand cornflakes are some irregular-assed shaped cornflakes.
- Cooking any meat loaf, in general, requires making a huge mess. Making it on this grand of a scale meant an ever larger kitchen wide disaster. My advice is to get a dog as they love all meatloaf ingredients that land on the floor except Worcestershire sauce.
- Worcestershire sauce is the most outrageously named condiment sold as a generic supermarket food stuff. And things that runny should not be called sauce. From now on it shall be referred to as English Juice, like they do in Brazil.
Coming soon – the actual "cake" cooking and wobbly construction. Stay tuned, you lazy bloggers.