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I once made a meat loaf.
I was trying to impress my husband
The recipe was authored or promoted by Emeril—”yeah, babe.”
It must’ve had eight to twelve different meats in it.
You know, for flavor and tenderness.

I remember seeing my meatloaf
Floating in grease.

I drained it.
We ate it.
I was exhausted from the ordeal.

My husband recommended I google
“easy” meat loaf.

I did. I was dumbfounded at how little it took.

On the scale of cold cereal to Turducken
Meatloaf is fairly simple, delicious and hearty.
It’s the type of meal that makes folks feel loved.

Flash forward

Me: C, how was your meatloaf?
C: We didn’t have meatloaf, we had hamburger with no bun.
Me: Did it have ketchup on top?
C: Yes.
Me: That was your meatloaf.
C: Oh, it was really good!

Flash forward

I always feel a little more stress when following a recipe.
I once canned strawberry preserves using Sure-Jell
The directions are extremely particular and many lines are written in all caps.

Boil for EXACTLY two minutes, DO NOT EXCEED TIME!!!!

The preserves turned out well.
Only missing ingredient was Xanax

I rode the wave of anxiety with my classroom timer in my hand.

Flash forward

It’s more of a challenge to follow a recipe while periodically yelling, “stay out of the kitchen, Mommy is cooking. It is hot.”

I try to combat this by cooking on Saturdays during naptime or by otherwise distracting the young’uns.

I worked hard on this recipe

Loaded, Twice Baked Potatoes, you can check it out here: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/loaded_twice_baked_potatoes.html

When I say, “I worked hard,” you must understand that the recipe calls for sour cream. I thought we had it, but we didn’t so I made it using plain yogurt and butter. I also thought we had shredded cheese, so I ended up finely chopping cheese slices.

I should add that I suspected that oven baked potatoes would taste better than microwaved ones. I followed Alton Brown’s recipe for oven-baked potatoes.

The salt on the outside was fancy—and demanded the most attention

I carefully served my family these potatoes and some fried chicken drumsticks and as I was serving every one, C exclaimed “Yay! Shepherd’s Pie!”

So she wasn’t wrong, it did look like Shepherd’s Pie Stuffed Potatoes.

On the other hand, I always equate Shepherd’s Pie to be “Left-over Pie”

I have no qualms about left-overs, but I had unpleasant Shepherd’s Pie experiences while in college.

We laughed!
It did look like Shepherd’s Pie!
What could I say?

After all, everyone ate.
Asked for seconds.
And that’s just the way she saw it!


3 thoughts on “#SOL15.The.Way.She.Sees.It

  1. Lynn March 11, 2015 / 1:55 am

    I could feel how hard you worked on these recipes! I’m so glad your family enjoys all your hard work!

  2. Jennifer Mayes March 11, 2015 / 2:32 am

    Chari, This is so great. I have taught cooking classes, but I still feel cooking anxiety. I loved how your post showed the relevance of the title at the end. And I celebrated with you when your meal was a success!

  3. GirlGriot March 11, 2015 / 3:42 am

    I love this! I love all the steps as you lead us through from that first dramatically difficult meatloaf to the shepherd’s pie potatoes. I don’t make meatloaf anymore (vegetarian now), but it was definitely a comfort food from my childhood.

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