One of my favourite memories from my childhood (other than the fact that our entire family moved, to live for a number of years, to our summer cabin…how cool is that!) was our weekly Sunday night dinners. Our family always feasted so well. Perhaps that was where and when I developed my appreciation for food…food as more than sustenance, food as a time of gathering of family, telling stories and sharing the kind of love that only comes from family.
This summer was my Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary. As some of you may know, for a variety of health reasons my Dad lives in an extended care centre. Fortunately my Dad’s care centre is relatively close to where my Mom lives. So for their 50th wedding anniversary my Mom cooked a feast at her home and we transported it over to my Dad’s place for the limited number of family who came to visit.
Notice my place setting with the Blackberry beside the dessert fork.
There were only a few of us who came to the celebration but my Mom has never stopped cooking for the entire extended family that would gather in our home for celebrations. So for this celebration Mom cooked a side of beef, a five gallon tub of gravy (the best homemade gravy…so good that in spite of my vegetarian ways I will sneak a spoonful onto my garlic smashed potatoes), a fifty pound sack of potatoes and assorted veggies and salads.
However, even though my Sweetheart and I are the lone vegetarians in a family of card-carrying-carnivores, my Mom always treats me like royalty. At every dinner she will produce a new and guaranteed to be tasty entree for me. And this dinner was no different. As I watched her carving the side of beef (sorry, my Mom is very private and would carve me into unrecognizable pieces if I posted a pic of her carving the beef) she told me to open up my entree. My dinner treat was Meatless Meatloaf…and it was absolutely stunningly delicious.
The Meatless Meatloaf is the round thing on my dinner plate. If you look above my plate you can see three more of the dishes ready to be served, even though I am the only vegetarian she doesn’t want me to go hungry. I have to admit that the one on my plate is enough to feed a family of four (or me).
Without further fuss, here is the recipe for the Meatless Meatloaf.
- 4 cups Special K cereal
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 1 ½ teaspoons sweet basil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs beaten
Mix all the ingredients well. Put in a loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with mushroom, béarnaise or any cream sauce favourite. It’s great cold, too. (I will add in here that it is spectacular sliced about an inch thick and then flopped into a hot frying pan with a dollop of butter. Brown one side, flip it over and brown the other. Serve with two eggs, over-easy for breakfast. Bob’s your Uncle.)
But for Mom and Dad’s 50th anniversary we finished the dinner off with a beautiful cake.
And of course, Mom and Dad holding hands like a couple of teenagers.