Big Daddy Meatloaf

My local independent grocer runs specials on freshly ground beef, but these sale packages average three pounds. Big Daddy Meatloaf was born from my wish to use all three of those pounds in a single recipe. Chili and spaghetti sauce can easily be adapted to a three pound range, but I wanted another simple recipe that would make a large batch that yields easy leftovers from the fridge or freezer.

As an aside, I will tell you that every time I have tried to type meatloaf in this post I have accidently keyed in meatload. I suppose this recipe does make a load of meatloaf.

Big Daddy Meatloaf

  • 3 lbs 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1.5 oz packet meatloaf seasoning
  • 2 oz packet onion soup mix
  • 3/4 cup ketchup, divided

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a rimmed cookie sheet with foil. Combine oats, milk, egg, seasonings and 1/4 cup ketchup in large mixing bowl. Add ground beef to bowl and gently fold into other ingredients, as if you were slowly kneading bread. Mix just until combined; overmixing will result in a tough, dense loaf.

Empty meat mixture onto cookie sheet. Shape into large oval that is 2″ thick. Cover the top with the remaining 1/2 cup ketchup.

Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the center of the loaf reaches a temperature of 160 degrees.

Corn and mashed potatoes are good dishes for this meatloaf. I think the meatloaf is rich enough that no gravy is needed for the mashed potatoes.

This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Chrystal at The Smallwood Parsonage.


Saturday Photo Walk

I love the serenity of the Allen County Children’s Garden in Lima, Ohio. I’ve been visiting this place for 16 years. I’m happy to share some of the sights I enjoyed there today.

I Believe in Magic

Red Geranium, Allen County Children’s Garden, Lima, Ohio

Every once in a while, I take a picture that proves to me that the world is indeed a good place. I see that I am not a fool to believe there is magic here.

In writing, I struggle to show rather than tell. This problem is absent in photography. There is only show and no tell.


I tried to return to the wetlands today, but a insect pollen party blocked my path. I didn’t want to invade their gathering any further, so I lingered on the scene for a few moments and went back home.

Hobbies of Yore

Our cat Fian, who was known by many names, the best of which was Deep and Sir Darketh.

I’ve heard that there is tension between time and creativity, and I wish I could give proper credit to the author of this notion: when you have lots of time, you have few ideas, but when you have no time, you are taunted by all kinds of ideas you’d explore if you had the time. Alas, I do not remember where I first heard or read about this truth of life.

Digital scrapbooking is a hobby I tried back when I had lots of time but little inspiration. I had a secondhand computer, a borrowed point-and-shoot camera and free scrapbooking software. My daughter and I would assemble digital pages with our pictures and free templates.

This is one of many things I wish I had the time to explore again. I wish I had the time to crochet afghans, knit hats, create collages, etc. Then I consider that this wish arises from pressure on my time. When I had more time, I spent lots of it wondering what to do and feeling guilty that I’d wasted it.

I remember that my daughter helped me choose the pictures for this page. Notice that she chose a plush with embroidered eyes to represent herself, too. She still has fine taste in such matters.

Sunset: Autumn Wetland

Beyond my backyard is a wetland preserve. While an El Niño summer rages into fall in the rest of my town, the wetlands show that growth is disintegrating on schedule. I have let my camera lie fallow for months, and I now I am surrendering to the urgency to document this season. Every fall I hope to capture the subtle changes until it all reaches a peak with frost-covered red leaves.

Capturing the wetlands in fall challenges me to value the small details of the natural world. If I overlook the glory of a lone grass flower or a long-brown thistle, what I hope do I have with a blazing sugar maple in October? The easy subjects yield better when you’ve taken time to illuminate the things that most regard with indifference: the ugly, the boring, the ignored. With a camera, you can discover that excitement and indifference say more about the viewer than the scene depicted. A rusted wheel can be as beautiful as the Grand Canyon. A withered patch of wetlands matters no less than an orchid in bloom.




This pleasant water lily photo of mine has no relevance whatsoever to the post below. I can’t imagine what sort of image would pertain to it, other than a smart phone screen shot, and that’s been done ad infinitum.

My new phone autocorrected the word fart to dart. This new device has much to learn about me.

I can dart about as well I can drive a semi, and if you notice that anything or anyone darts in my writing, know that I was at a loss in choosing an action verb.

I play darts so badly that I could support a small drywall repair business if I made a regular habit of that game.

Life itself has lent me more expertise in farts and farting. I can’t imagine anyone being a better darter than farter. Farts are free from artifice and class. Rather, the attempt to conceal farts speaks of everything but farts themselves.

Can I delete the word dart from my phone’s user dictionary?