Nostalgia and Thoughts: MEATLOAF, BREADED TOMATOES AND MILK TOAST

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Do those three foods put terror in your heart and turn your stomach?? Well, they sure do that to me. I have never liked any of the three but my mother loved all of them.

Meatloaf is a waste of good hamburger as far as I am concerned. I have never eaten any that I ever thought was worth chewing and sure didn’t want to swallow it. But when I was growing up my mom made a lot of it, probably because it would feed the whole family of 6 pretty cheap and she would have some left over for sandwiches the next day.

When I was still at home we had to eat some of everything that was on the table. When we had meatloaf I would slather it with ketchup. That was the only way I would be able to chew it and get it to go down. Mom and dad ate it like it was steak. A lot of people like sandwiches out of it but I don’t want it that way either. A meatloaf sandwich would be a waste of two good slices of bread.

About 10 years after I was married Mom moved to Hutchinson. Mom and I loved to go out to eat when I had the chance. Her favorite places to eat were Furr’s Cafeteria or a little restaurant here in town.  One day we went to the little restaurant for supper and she found meatloaf on the menu as the special of the day. She ordered the meatloaf dinner and I started to dread the moment they would set it on the table in front of her.

When she received her meal of nasty meatloaf, I shuddered and gagged a little. I told her I couldn’t believe she would actually pay for a meal of meatloaf in a restaurant. Especially when there were so many other really delicious meals available that she could order.

She looked at me like I had lost my mind and said: “I remember you ate meatloaf when you were growing up and eating at home.” I gave her one of those looks that implied she was nuts or her memory had left her and she said a little grumpily: “What? You always ate the meatloaf when I fixed it when you were home.”

I gave her that look again and asked her; have you forgotten we had to eat what was put on the table? Don’t you remember how much ketchup I had to put on that little piece I had to eat? When she shook her head I told her I had to cover it with ketchup just to get it to go down. She informed me that she had not noticed how much ketchup I used, just that I ate the meat loaf. I told her it took about half a bottle of ketchup for me to be able to eat that nasty stuff.

Then I reminded her of the other two foods she liked to eat that I couldn’t stand. One of them was breaded tomatoes. I am sure she learned to eat that from her Mother when she was young. I don’t remember Grandmother fixing it when I was little and staying with her but she may have and I just didn’t have to eat it at her house.

We were served breaded tomatoes at school in the 50’s about once a week. But at the school lunch I could usually trade them to someone for something they didn’t like but at home I had to eat them. That dish was a waste of good tomatoes after mixing in the bread. There was no way to disguise them so I had to just choke them down.

Milk toast was something mom always fixed for herself when she wasn’t feeling good. This is another of the foods that gives me the shivers to think about. Mom would fix herself a couple pieces of toast and leave it dry. Then she would heat up some milk, on the stove of course because they didn’t have microwaves back then.

When the milk was hot she’d tear the toast into bite size pieces and put them into a bowl and pour the milk over it and add some salt and pepper. She would let it soak for a few minutes and then eat every bite of it. She claimed that it made her stomach feel better.

She tried to get me to eat some when I was having an upset stomach but it only made my stomach worse. I only got one bite past my lips before I was really feeling sick. It made me sicker to even think about it after I tried it one time.

Okay, I love cold milk with plain bread in it but the hot milk does not appeal to me at all. I knew it would come back up if I even put one bite in my mouth. (Just like Pepto Bismol does to me, doesn’t even get into my stomach before it is back.)

If some of my readers happen to like or even love any or all of these foods, I am sorry to rock your boat. But I can’t eat them and the thought of meatloaf, breaded tomatoes and milk toast has my stomach doing flip flops and shivers running up and down my arms even as I type the words.

To contact Sandy: [email protected]

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