San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers


meatloafI made meatloaf the other night.

Not my mom’s meatloaf recipe, because that would have been too easy. I already knew that one would taste good.

No, this was experimental meatloaf.

I’d attempted an awful meatloaf recipe a few weeks previous. It relied heavily on bulking up its mass with shredded carrots. The result tasted like a sponge. Dipped in boring. Boring sponge.

This one seemed more promising.

In addition to using plenty of seasoning, the recipe had a unique plan of dividing the ingredients between 2 loaf pans, cutting the cook time down to 25 minutes.

That was a really awesome idea, because through the years, the majority of my meatloaf trouble has come from, “cook for 40 to 45 minutes.” Being a procrastinator, that means I start preparing dinner 53 minutes before I need it. And prep always takes longer than 13 minutes. And cooking ALWAYS takes longer than 40 minutes.

My other meatloaf pitfall has been that my meat never thaws as quickly as I expect. It’s very hard to mix all the ingredients together while there are still big chunks of icy ground beef.

Even though it was ground turkey this time, the pattern stayed true to its non-thawing form. But it didn’t daunt me. I scraped off the thawed part and put the still frozen chunks in the microwave on defrost.

While that problem was resolving, I finished mixing the spices and other ingredients into meat that had thawed on time.

While I was doing this, my husband called on his way home from work.

Let me just say something about this. Chris is my favoritest person in the whole world. There is no one I’d rather talk to. But he literally calls at the craziest point in my day. All the kids are home, and the dogs want dinner and I’m chopping things. So I try to just add him into my multi-tasking, because that’s how much I like him.

This time, I managed to do all-the-things simultaneously. I divided the meat into the two loaf pans and popped it in the oven for its 20 minutes. All while finishing up my conversation with my husband.

And you know what? The 2 pan method worked! The meatloaf was totally done in 25 minutes. Obviously the pieces were smaller/shorter, so I had to serve each person more, but my husband loved the flavor. And the kids didn’t hate it, which is basically a compliment from them.

After dinner, Chris opened the microwave to heat up some baby food. And do you know what he found? The rest of the meat that was supposed to be in the meatloaf.


There was a reason those meatloafs were so short. Literally a third of dinner was missing.

And the thing is, if I make it right next time, the family probably won’t think it tastes as good. But with my track record, do we really think that making it “right” is a concern?


Because people always seem to want these things, here is the recipe. My husband took a bite and let out a happy sigh. I asked if it was good and he replied, “It tastes like meatloaf.” This glowing review lets you know how bad the previous attempt had been.

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San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers

The Turkey that Was Late for His Own Funeral

I know some of you are probably waiting with bated breath to find out what I messed up for my Thanksgiving Dinner. Because, you know it’s inevitable.


I don’t like meat items that still look like the original animal. Frog legs? No. Clams? No. Squid? No. Hogs head? No one’s ever offered, but no.

So a turkey is really stretching it for me. Because it’s just a naked, headless bird. So weird.

And last year it wasn’t even completely naked, because it still had one little feather sticking out of each of the wings. Horrifying.

This year was my 3rd time cooking thanksgiving dinner. (My sister claims it’s my 4th, so either she’s crazy or I’m blocking a traumatic memory.) So I SHOULD have it down. But that’s actually where I’m at my worst. When I’m like, “Oh, I know how to do this. No biggie,” that’s when things go horribly wrong.

So the day before Thanksgiving, I checked the turkey cooking chart on the box of my turkey-cooking-bag. Don’t judge me, it’s only my 3rd (or 4th) time doing this. Later that evening, without looking at the box, I asked Chris (who is my personal calculator) to do the math for me, “It’s supposed to cook for 10 minutes for every pound, and then add 15 minutes. And the turkey is 20 pounds.” He said that meant about 3 and a half hours.

We were planning Thanksgiving Dinner for about 3:00. And we were kind of locked into that, because, not only were Chris’ parents at our house, but we’d also invited some friends over.

Thanksgiving Day, I was feeling pretty chill, since the turkey only needed to cook for 3 and half hours. I lazied around, drinking coffee and watching the beginning of the Macy’s parade.

Around 9:30, I decided to get a jump start on the turkey. I was feeling really proud of myself for being proactive and not waiting until the last minute, since it didn’t really need to be in the oven until 11:00.

First thing I did was to check the box instructions again.

Guess what? The cooking chart said 15 minutes for every pound and then add 10 minutes. Now, I’m no mathematician, but I knew that when I had transposed those numbers, it drastically affected my cooking-time calculations. I checked it on my iPhone calculator, since Chris wasn’t around. 5 hours, friends. 5 hours.

And if I could have just popped the turkey in right then, it would have been fine. But it’s never that easy.

Because, even though I’d looked up on the internet how long it takes to thaw a 20 pound turkey in the fridge, the turkey was still frozen. The internet lies.

I panicked-ly enlisted Chris’ help. Because we needed to get the nasty stuff out of the inside of the bird. (Anyone know of a turkey company that just throws the neck and giblets away? Please hook me up.) But all of the turkey’s holes were frozen shut AND it had it’s legs crossed. It wasn’t giving up without a fight. When we got it all unfrozen and unhooked, we pulled out the neck (ugh) and went digging for the giblets. No giblets.

After we’d both groped around inside of a dead bird for awhile, we called Chris’ mom. She wasn’t super interested in sticking her arm inside (can you blame her?) but she eyed it a little and said, “Well. I don’t know. They should be in there.” We discussed whether maybe they’d forgotten to put the giblets in. But I could never be that lucky. Then in a moment of genius or something, Chris found them in the OTHER hole. So awkward.

So we finally got the turkey in its bag (stop with the judging!) and into the oven. And it only threw our dinner itinerary off by about 30 minutes.

Everything else went pretty smooth. I did manage to fling some sweet potatoes around the kitchen, but that wasn’t much of a story, comparatively.

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