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  • Jennifer Stewart

Amazement.


This time of year makes me miss the Midwest. With the occasional snowfall, it takes me back to when I was 8 years old. My dad, my sister, and I trudging through our front yard piling mounds of snow in hopes to make the biggest snow fort possible… with a hole just big enough for us to squeeze through. Or the memory of us in high school hooking our sleds on the back of our Jeep and skeeching down country roads in the dark. Or the countless times my Uncle Ron would pull us behind his 3 Wheeler while he drove us over his ice covered pond.

I know it sounds crazy, but I hate living in warm climates. It’s boring. The seasons make the year more exciting and colorful and unpredictable. I hope for my son to experience just that… the frigid air in the winter, the sweet blooms of spring, the hot sun of summer, and the incredible color of fall. Each of these times of the year, filling your soul up with incredible childhood memories. In Amazement.

I’m mildly inspired of Joanna Gaines and her heart full of kindness and creative skills. I aspire to be her in the way of a mother and cook and gardener and artist. She makes things look so simple and just speaks to the World of love…. Pure love. From her recent recipe book, Magnolia Table, she writes of a recipe that makes me think of my childhood home. Of which, my mother, use to make this item paired with peas and mashed potatoes regularly growing up. I have no doubt that my sister fondly remembers this meal just the same.

MEAT LOAF

By Joanna Gaines

2 Tbsp of Salted Butter

¼ to ½ Cup finely chopped Onion

1 ½ Pound Beef

1 Sleeve Saltines, Crushed

1 ½ Cups grated Cheddar Cheese

2 Large Eggs, Beaten

½ Cup Tomato Sauce

1 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 ½ Tsp Kosher Salt

¼ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Peppers

1 Tbsp Ketchup

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees

  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium – low – heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

  1. In a large bowl, combines the beef, cooled onion, saltine crumbs, cheddar cheese, eggs, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Use your hands to gently mix the ingredients together until well blended. Try to keep a light touch and not overwork the mixture.

  1. On a 9 X 13 – inch or large baking pan, form the mixture into a roughly 6 X 9 – inch loaf.

  1. Drizzle the ketchup down the center of the loaf and brush it over the top to cover.

  1. Bake until firm, about 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm.

  1. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

As I look out my window and the view from my dining table to my back yard, there is still the brown grass from the hot summer on the ground. A little bit of mud from last nights rain as well. I begin imagining it to be white on the ground with a crooked snowman planted by the back window. It’s very rare that it would snow in Texas… but it’s okay to pretend. I’d love to pair my Winter Meatloaf recipe with one of my favorites… My Morning Jacket. From the album Evil Urges the song, I’M AMAZED nourishes that picture in my mind. Formed in Louisville, Kentucky, the band’s lead singer, Jim James, started the band back in 1998… a true gem for me to listen to. Especially on this oddly brown and wet wintery morning.

“Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.” – Mary Oliver

#magnolia #joannagaines #mymorningjacket #meatloaf #evilurges #magnoliatable

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