Saturday, July 6, 2013

Midas Meat Loaf

Since it's summer, it's barbecue season. Today's entry is from the Better Homes and Gardens Barbecue Book. The copyright is 1965, but my copy is from the second printing in 1967.

I love this recipe for a few reasons. I know I"m a nerd, but part of the appeal is simply the language of the recipe. It asks home cooks to "Lay bacon slices in a chevron pattern." The word "chevron" doesn't get worked into nearly enough recipes. Then later, it instructs cooks to seal foil "with drugstore fold." I can't imagine a modern cookbook saying that unless it immediately followed the line with an explanation of what a drugstore fold is. The original audience didn't even have the internet so they could look the terms up-- they just had to know. They were used to decorating meat with chevron patterns and sealing it with drugstore folds! Think about that for a minute. Or don't. Your call.

I'm also fascinated that the authors apparently imagined the meatloaf as a woman. The caption under the photo calls the bacon chevron a "girdle" that will "help the loaf keep its figure." Yes, ladies, even your meatloaves had to be shapely in the '60s, but the good news was that their girdles could be made of bacon. Interpret the last step of slicing the meatloaf up into 10 to 12 servings as you wish....

Of course, a big reason this recipe is great is the sheer oddness. I guess it doesn't sound horrible, but I can't imagine anyone really hoping to find a big wad of hot celery in the middle of their meatloaf. The picture doesn't make the idea more appealing. I can't help suspecting the "celery" is some kind of alien hidden away, hoping to be eaten as its first sneaky step in destroying humans and taking over the world.

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