Sunday, February 27, 2005

852 Sweet Sour Meatloaf

When I retired in 2000, I had two unfinished research projects; black veterinarians in Ohio in the early 20th century, and free central Ohio newspapers and magazines. Although it was my job to teach students how to use a systematic method to prepare papers, I never followed what I taught. My method was to accumulate as much interesting material as possible, throw it in a box under my desk, and periodically bring it out and look for an interesting starting place. The next step was to go into the stacks and browse. Trust me, no one would ever actually teach others to do research this way, but I did get to Associate Professor, so it worked for me.

I was further along in the veterinarian project and actually had "hard" data drawn from material in my stacks that probably no one else would ever dig out since most of it wasn't indexed. One piece of information had been taped for years to a class photo poster in the hospital. My preliminary conclusion was that the pre-1950 classes at OSU in veterinary science had a higher percentage of African American students than the post-1970 classes when they were actively being recruited, but I couldn't find an angle on which to pitch my story. Also, the registrar doesn't let you look at student records (for residence, high school, etc.) without a darn good reason.

The free-circulation newspapers topic, on the other hand, was huge, cumbersome, and I couldn't find a soul writing on it except me. I'm guessing that over the years I'd accumulated 50 titles under my desk to explore. Normally that is a good thing if you're writing a PhD thesis, but I wasn't. It could just possibly mean no one gives a hoot, so why bother? Libraries don't collect them; indexing services ignore them; circulation compilations don't report their stats. From an information history angle, they don't exist if you can't find them. In libraries, we have a term called "gray literature." Free-circs go beyond gray into invisible. Disclaimer: this may have changed in the last 5 years.

But I still pick them up when I see them (newspapers, not black veterinarians); I can't resist. Today I noticed The New Standard; an independent Central Ohio Jewish Semi-Monthly at the coffee shop, sitting along side some other free newspapers. It is a mix of local and boilerplate with nice formatting, very healthy advertising inches without being pushy, good cartoons, interesting editorials, and a very full calendar of events, most of which I didn't know about since I'm not Jewish.

And now to the title of this blog entry. Chef Lana Covel had an article in The New Standard some time back about how she couldn't make meatloaf. So in this issue (Feb. 24-Mar. 9, 2005) she reprinted the e-mails and suggestions she received from her readers--some very funny, others quite helpful. And there is was! My Sweet Sour Meatloaf recipe that I have been using for 45 years and which I give new brides. According to H.G. who submitted it, it came from the B'nai B'rith Women's Cookbook, 1978, but mine is a bit older, having come from Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking, c 1959, 1960, p. 642. It truly is the best meatloaf you'll ever taste, and if you've failed before with dry, tasteless gunk, throw away that onion soup and ketchup; this one will work for you.

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C vinegar
1 t. prepared mustard
1 egg
1 small onion, minced
1/4 C crushed crackers
2 lbs. ground beef
1 1/2 t. salt (I use less)
1/4 t. pepper

Mix tomato sauce with sugar, vinegar, and mustard until sugar is dissolved.

Beat egg slightly; add onion, crackers, beef, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce mixture. Combine lightly, but thoroughly.

Shape meat into oval loaf in a bowl; turn into shall baking dish, keeping loaf shapely. Pour on rest of tomato sauce mixture.

Bake in hot oven (400 degrees F.) 45 minutes, basting occasionally. With 2 broad spatulas, lift onto platter. Serves 8.

And there is an on-going class on Maimonides 13 Principles of Faith at Temple Israel each Tuesday from 12-1 p.m.

1 comment:

Feed Fido said...

I love minutiae (spelled correctly?) like these free newspapers. The hip kids would call them Zines. Don't all librarians have boxes of obscure projects under their desks? But I sear I won't retire without finishing them! : )