Saturday, June 27, 2015

You Can Get Here From There - Minerva's Tri-Color Calico Meatloaf - #LoveWins

Once upon a time, there was a cat named Minerva, and she was a tiger calico.

Minerva, A Calico Cat

But first, something really important happened today.  The Supreme Court of the United States handed down a ruling so perfect, so equalizing, and so right, that we can all forget yesterday's ruling, involving the Affordable Care Act. (I'm not a fan of Obamacare. So sue me).

I hate hash tags, but just this once: #LoveWins.  Oh yes, the "Nine Old Men" - who are actually "Six Mature Men and Three Women of Various Ages - announced that hereafter, states cannot ban same-sex marriage.  Well, actually only five of the Justices were in favor - the other four dissented.  Strongly. That's what makes horse races.

Bam!  About damn time. I cried when I saw the report. Happy for my gay relatives and friends (some who had to travel out of state to get married). Happy that people I love will no longer face any impediments to the most basic right, the right to create a family with the person they love, to raise children together, to have all the legal rights and protections afforded married opposite-sex couples. 

Today's ear worm is brought to you courtesy of "Star Trek: Enterprise", my least favorite TV show in the franchise, and the only show whose theme song is sung.  I love it; most Trek fans hated it.  More horse races.  

It's been a long road, getting from there to here.
It's been a long time, but my time is finally near.
And I can feel the change in the wind right now. Nothing's in my way.
And they're not gonna hold me down no more, no they're not gonna hold me down.

Cause I've got faith of the heart.
I'm going where my heart will take me.
I've got faith to believe. I can do anything.
I've got strength of the soul. And no one's gonna bend or break me.
I can reach any star. I've got faith, faith of the heart.

It's been a long night. Trying to find my way.
Been through the darkness. Now I finally have my day.
And I will see my dream come alive at last. I will touch the sky.
And they're not gonna hold me down no more, no they're not gonna change my mind.

Cause I've got faith of the heart.
I'm going where my heart will take me.
I've got faith to believe. I can do anything.
I've got strength of the soul. And no one's gonna bend or break me.
I can reach any star. I've got faith, faith of the heart.

I've known the wind so cold, I've seen the darkest days.
But now the winds I feel, are only winds of change.
I've been through the fire and I've been through the rain.
But I'll be fine ...

So it's the day after I sent in my application for disability retirement, and I'm anything but fine.  There is still a lot I have to do and I know this is going to be a long haul.  I have a debilitating disease which happens to be invisible.  Looking forward to the battle. Not.

And we still have to eat.  Is there anything as basic and homey as meatloaf?  Am I the only home cook who has made meatloaf over 400 times and never the same way twice?

Minerva with Ira the First and Dora the First

Minerva Athene Rothfeld was the only calico cat in our family; we had multiple tabbies, fluffy oranges and various bicolors, and one spectacular all-white male with blue eyes (yes, he was deaf) but only one tri-color tiger calico.  A sweeter animal never lived.  I could relate a lot of Minerva stories, but I would start to cry and frankly I've done enough crying lately both happy and sad.

Her name comes from Robert Heinlein's book Time Enough for Love.  Our first Yorkie was named for her in proper Ashkenazic Jewish tradition.  

At the very end of her beautiful life, Minerva taught me that loving someone includes putting aside your own pain to help that person die surrounded by love, and comfort, and peace.  

She died in my arms in 1996 at the age of 18.

Brands Do Matter

Minerva's Tri-Color Calico Meatloaf

4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1/2 each: green, red, and yellow bell pepper (marketed as "Stoplight" or "Tri-Color" peppers)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
kosher salt
ground black pepper
granulated garlic
smoked paprika
cayenne pepper

2 pounds market ground beef
1 cup uncooked quick oats
1 cup half and half
2 extra-large eggs
1/4 cup Heinz chili sauce
2 tablespoons Gold's horseradish
1/4 teaspoon allspice
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic

Glaze Ingredients:
Additional chili sauce
Wildflower honey


First, sautĂ© the onion, garlic and peppers in the butter.  Add the seasonings while cooking.  When the vegetables are just tender, take off the heat and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the beef with the remaining ingredients, excluding the glaze ingredients.  Add the cooked and cooled pepper mixture and mix thoroughly with your hands or wooden spoon.


Divide the meatloaf mixture in half, and in a greased or no-stick sprayed baking dish, form two loaves.  Pour a stripe of chili sauce on top of each, then drizzle some honey over that.  With the back of a spoon, spread the chili sauce-honey mixture to cover the top of each loaf.


Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 to 60 minutes.  The interior temperature should read 160 degrees.  Let the meatloaf cool before trying to slice it.

Minerva loved ground beef; she once snuck a stuffed cabbage roll off the table, unwrapped the cabbage and ate the beef and rice filling. She also stomped on a jelly roll I was baking, but that's another blog post.

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