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How to make a meatloaf

Honestly, I hate to brag but sometimes you just have to.

I, ladies and gentleman, tied for 3rd place at a meatloaf cook-off party yesterday!!! I know, it’s so exciting.

I’m not a “natural” in the kitchen, you see. Cooking requires a degree of attention and working memory that -- let’s be real -- eludes me. But not yesterday, ladies and gents!

Now, when you win big, it’s your responsibility to spread the wealth. So I’m gonna share how to make this prize-winning dish.

1) Maximize your odds by scanning the entire internet until you find a meatloaf recipe with more than 50 ratings AND a full five stars. I found a single recipe, for BBQ Turkey Meatloaf.

2) Make your grocery list in Cozi or your Reminders app. You need 5 things.

3) Exit the store $185 later. Ooops. Decide which bill you're now gonna have to leave unpaid.

4) Unload your groceries but don’t put them away, leaving yourself an approx 2x1.5 foot rectangle of countertop on which to construct your creation.

5) Fetch all of the ingredients you need. Look at them and whimper because, this sucks. I’d rather take a practice SAT.

6) Make the sauce. Remember to double check your measurements before adding anything!

7) Saute the onions and garlic. Scrub your hands for 5 minutes to try and remove the garlic scent. Realize that you are now the best positioned to defend against a vampire, should one get loose at the party. Grasp the enormity of this burden. Scrub for another 5 minutes.

8) Make the meat mix. Use a fork to take the meat out of the plastic because eff no, are you going to touch that.

9) Contemplate the nature of ego while cracking an egg directly onto a cutting board, instead of into a bowl. Realize your mistake and mop up the raw egg with three paper towels. Curse, out loud, when you notice the paper towels have caught fire from the sauteing onions! Decide you are literally I Love Lucy. Vow to clear a 3x3 foot square, at minimum, for cooking next time.

10) Start the coffee pot because you need some liquid concentration. Run downstairs to your spouse and be a jerk about random things... things that are so random you can’t even remember them the next day. When he tells you, “You’re being a bitch because you hate cooking,” scoff at him but silently be grateful for that nugget of new awareness. Go to the bathroom and check your phone. Run back upstairs once you realize the coffee pot has been whistling for 2 minutes straight and your husband just ignored it to spite you because of your ‘tude. Discover in horror that the coffee pot has been shooting steam point blank onto an aerosol canister of whipped cream and THANK THE LORD it didn’t explode and rocket a hole through your ceiling or skylight.

11) Mix it. The consistency should feel like 50% playdough, 50% slime. Whimper again because the recipe says you have to mix it with your hands, and you have to follow the recipe EXACTLY.

12) Mold it. Get precise with your measurements. Don’t fuck with a 5-star rating. Get a ruler.

13) Put it in the oven. Realize that now you have to CLEAN. Ignore this glaring obligation and go downstairs to do your makeup instead. Vow to NEVER do this shit again. Not until Thanksgiving. Today is Leap Day.

14) Let your husband deal with taking out the meatloaf and prepping it for transport. Have a brief existential crisis when he informs you it hasn’t yet reached a safe internal temperature despite the fact that you cooked it for the full 45 minutes specified in the recipe!

15) Take half an hour to come down from this entire stressful experience. Make the car ride to the party tense for everyone, because you hate to cook. Scream at your husband for forgetting the parsley garnish, which you neglected to tell him to add.

16) Walk in the door holding your meatloaf, with a smile on your face. You did it, you are a freaking Champion. Your meatloaf is completely edible, looks appealing, and gets to sit on the table along with everyone else’s.

17) See? It’s easy.

Sometimes you tell yourself that you’re no good at certain things, and that might partially be true. But there is always the possibility that you’re selling yourself short; that you are telling yourself an untrue story! And with proper preparation, hard work, and the right strategy, you might actually be a 3rd place winner like me!

Here’s the recipe, for real:


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