In middle school, I was sent home with an assignment from my Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) class: to cook my family a full dinner and report back. The meal had to include an entree and two sides, all of which were cooked from scratch– so no squeaking by with pasta with jarred tomato sauce!. After much deliberation (yes, I’m one of the most indecisive people ever), I decided to make meatloaf my entree.
My mom pulled out her Betty Crocker cookbook and showed me the recipe she always used. She wasn’t allowed to physically help me, but she stood next to me, telling me me that the oats and egg would help hold everything together, and encouraging me to squish the ground beef between my fingers to mix everything together.
As far as I can remember, the meatloaf and whatever sides I made came out well. Clearly, the side dishes weren’t particularly memorable, because I have no idea what I made.
I forgot about this experience until I was making meatloaf last week. Dan had been requesting meatloaf for weeks, ever since we had meatloaf sandwiches at a local restaurant. As I mixed the ingredients together, I was hit by a bit of deja vu, sending me back to my middle school days and leaving me feeling like I should go jump on AOL Instant Messenger while the meatloaf cooked.