Snow Day En Flambé

Last week, we had a good old fashioned snow day here in middle Tennessee. While it’s not uncommon to get ice storms here, beautiful, fluffy snow falls are few and far between! My husband and I both had the day off, so we made the most of it. We watched movies and went sledding and the whole nine! What fun it was!

On to dinner.

I’m not one to run out and buy bread and milk when they’re calling for a light snow, but it did throw me a little bit that the biggest snow in two years happened on my regular shopping day. Maybe I should have braved the supermarket with the rest of the county, but it’s too late now. My meal plan for the week ran out yesterday, and I’m on my own.

I did a quick inventory of what I had on hand, and decided to go with meatloaf and baked potatoes. I was pretty sure I had enough of what I needed, although it there were enough variances that I probably wasn’t going to be able to follow a single recipe. I rarely do this, but snowy times call for desperate measures. It’s time to WING IT!

I use my hands mix the ground beef with diced onion (oh it’s COLD!) and I didn’t have any bell pepper, so this is just going to have to go without. I mix in the small amount of breadcrumbs that I have, and add milk and applesauce (in leiu of egg, I have an allergy, more on that another time) until the consistency seems right. I decide to make it up in muffin tins, since it should cut the baking time down by about half. Since I would only be baking the meatloaf for about 30 minutes, I pop the potatoes into the microwave for 4 minutes while the oven preheats.

I round the meatloaf into balls and drop them into the muffin tin, and once the oven has preheated, I roll the hot potatoes in oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and throw everything in the oven and start working on the sauce. This sauce is made of ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar, and it’s incredible. Seriously, it’s one of the few things I love whipping up because I know I can’t mess up.

I pull the meatloaf out after 25 minutes, dollop the sauce on top and return it to the oven. I notice that the potatoes have nearly withered away to nothing, so I decide they’re probably done and I pull them out to cool. The meatloaf needs about 10 minutes more, and since I like to clean as I go, I begin tidying up the kitchen. Until I hear my husband hollering behind me.

THE OVEN IS ON FIRE.

Now friends, you’ll remember that I started a fire in my friend’s oven on New Year’s Eve, which is really what inspired me to finally start writing this blog. That fire was comprised of one, very cute little flame. THIS fire was not cute. This is the kind of fire you want roaring in your fireplace on Christmas Eve. This is the kind of fire that makes you want to roast marshmallows and sing camp songs. And it’s in my oven.

My husband and I scatter to find baking soda. After scouring the kitchen, pantry, and laundry room, we determined we were out! Fortunately, the fire went out on it’s own after whatever was burning burned up (apparently ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar makes a very flammable combination when it spills). I pullthe meatloaf out, open the back door of the house to release the smoke (also letting in a draft of unbelievablly cold winter air), and defeatedly hang up my apron.

However, as always, my sweet husband plated up the food and blessed it, because he’s the best. And here’s the funny thing:

It all turned out to be delicious!

Observations for next time:

Go out for bread and milk with all the rest of the crazies.

Don’t cook potatoes so long.

Line bottom shelf of oven with foil to catch super flammable sauces.

Buy more baking soda!

——Katie

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