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Mama's Meatloaf

Sundays, Meatloaf and Softball

Sundays have always been pretty special in my family.  When I was growing up, I got up early to help my mama cook our Sunday lunch before we headed off to church. Sunday meals were usually our biggest meal of the week and it always consisted of a meat and three vegetables, bread and dessert....all prepared in true southern style! When we arrived back home from church, lunch was waiting on us and aside from heating up the rolls and setting the table, everything was ready to eat!  

This time was very important.  We ate together as a family and as we grew older, our closest friends and significant others also came over for Sunday "dinner", as we called it.  When we finished, we all helped mama clean up the kitchen, then headed to the den to take a nap! 

 

Naps were almost required on Sunday, no joke.  I am not sure if it was because we were all so full from lunch or if it was simply because Sundays were considered days of rest and we enjoyed those times for being lazy!

When nap time was over, we headed outside....usually for a game of softball. Those were fun times and it seemed like everyone in the community had the same plans each week because all the young folks headed to our farm to play softball in the back field.  Fun times!

We did not have meatloaf often, but when we did, it was almost always on a Sunday.  My mama makes the best meatloaf.  I love it because it is nothing fancy and it is simply a good 'ole southern style meatloaf.  It is really simple to make and it does not require a long list of ingredients.  As a matter of fact, you probably have most of the ingredients right inside your pantry.

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Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef

1 chopped onion

1  1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup milk

2 packs dry onion soup mix

1 sleeve of Ritz crackers OR 3/4 sleeve of saltine crackers crushed

1 egg

1 tsp black pepper

ketchup

** You may substitute the milk/tomato paste with one small can of tomato sauce.  The key is the moisture obtained from adding liquid.  Either combination works well.

Directions

  1. Dilute the tomato paste in the milk and mix until smooth.

  2. Combine all ingredients except ketchup in a large bowl.  Use clean hands to mix but do not over mix or the meat will become compact and this will make it dry out faster.

  3. Spread in a loaf pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

  4. Top with ketchup and coat well.

  5. Bake on 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until done.

  6. Allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing.