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On a mission for a little bit of meatloaf

This is a column about many things.

Meatloaf. Cravings. My failure as a cook. My inability to put dinner on the table even once or twice a week when two or more plan to gather. My ability to “bring home the bacon” — at least a few strips anyway — only to cook it, sad to say, to a state where Better Half says it actually disintegrates in your mouth.

He says you can make bacon powder out of what I try to pass off as a side dish to a couple of dippy eggs cuddling with some toast.

So back to meatloaf. I was craving that earlier this past week, thinking this comfort food would be a fine thing to serve a fine family.

But it is a commitment and requires not only the proper ingredients, but experience and a track record, all of which are helpful. Times like these I wish the always-smiling Pioneer Woman, who has that cooking show, was a good friend who would come over and masquerade as me, make some meatloaf and help tidy up afterward.

I didn’t even mention meatloaf initially as a dinner possibility when Better Half called me at work, but I knew the big question was coming. In our many moons together, my husband has become way more sensitive to the dreaded dinner topic, knowing I hate coming up with suggestions, and I hate deadline pressure, which makes great sense to work for a newspaper.

He asks the question anyway, and I try to offer options. Sort of.

I suggested the spinach ravioli in the freezer, there probably three months now, waiting patiently to hide under some sauce on a plate. Pair that with some rust-free lettuce, aka salad, and a loaf of garlic toast heavy on the garlic, so you can’t really taste anything good or bad.

Not everyone likes spinach, though, he says. Silence.

How about bacon sandwiches?

Not a chance. Next.

I suggested fried kielbasa and a baked potato, a favorite of mine as the cowardly cook of the county.

A noisy inhale was all I heard.

I’ll figure it out, I vowed. I’ll take care of it. My turn for a noisy inhale.

I decided on meat loaf because I really was craving some but couldn’t find any place to buy it ready to cook and pass off as mine or already done and ready for devouring.

I stopped at three places on the way home, thinking what a cruel world it is for the consumer who wants to buy, not cook.

Thank goodness for those chickens roasted and ready. It was grab-and-go time. We had that, instant mashed potatoes and peas fresh from a pop-top can, a great invention.

Who needs an always-smiling Pioneer Woman?

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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