Back before Scouts earned cool belt badges for the responsible playing of video games, the badges -- for boys and girls -- were cloth numbers. Bluebirds and Camp Fire members earned wooden beads. And we're talking flints, day camp and lummi sticks and kick-ass roasted marshmallows. Oh, and learning to make lanyard key chains! The lo-fi extra-curricular service organization days.
So, yeah, back then, troops gathered leaves, sticks and the like on nature hunts and would, maybe every couple of years, piece together a recipe book of favorites from their families. We here at Days Gone Bite recently flipped through about five local recipe collections of that sort (as well as one of the school fundraiser variety and one of those "hey, asshole, cook with your kids!" cookbooks), and it seems that, next to layered salads, chocolate pies and pinwheel apps, there is a recipe that pops up quite often. One that we find still on the Internets but not so much in the cookbooks: frosted meatloaf.
You ever frost a 'loaf, people? Because it's awesome.
Perhaps the reason meatloaf iced in mashed potatoes was once so popular is because the recipe was pushed on the backs of boxes of instant potato mixes. No doubt in these foodie days box taters have fallen from grace. Better to mash your own, we now say. But there was a day when the thought of having to make homemade mashed potatoes as well as a whole meatloaf was overwhelming, and a quick just-add-water mix seemed so harmless. Add a few Kraft singles to the top and even better, right?
That's all sacrilege now.
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If you're going to make meatloaf, you do it right, and if you're going to serve mashed potatoes you make them the right way too. So why not pile one well-made item on top of the other to amuse the kids? Is it just too much work or are we past this novelty?