It only took about 30 years. I’ve always loved her meatloaf and despite watching her make it umpteen million times while growing up I was never able to make mine like hers when I left home. I had the flavors down: ground beef, pork sausage, onion, bell pepper, garlic, egg, s&p – the usual suspects – and NEVER ketchup. She uses tomato sauce because ketchup makes it too sweet and she only puts it on the top of the meatloaf after it’s browned a little in the oven. But the texture of mine was always off. Hers is tight/smooth when you cut it. Mine was more grainy/chunky than hers. When I started checking out various recipes I found the use of breadcrumbs fairly common and thought that might work. But she NEVER uses breadcrumbs. I tried it anyway and mine was a little better but still not right. This July I happened to be at her house when she made one and the light bulb came on!
Eggs! She always uses 2 or more eggs and I only used 1. I couldn’t believe it was that simple but I tried it when I got home and lo and behold! Meatloaf perfection. I’ve made it 4 times since July. Perfect each time.
I’m a happy woman!
Now if I could only develop that ‘gotta be doing something’ thing she has I’ll be set. Unfortunately I got my Dad’s couch potato gene.