One Fine Time

Archived | September 12, 2014 | By

A Prairie Home Companion Street Dance — Fitzgerald Theater

Well, autumn is here, and that means back-to-school for some, and harvest time for others. It’s the season of gathering and turning, season of golden light and shorter days and thoughts of things cinnamon. Seems time, to me, to do a bit of gathering and turning of our own, and what better reason than a celebration of sorts, a new beginning after summer’s end, A Prairie Home Companion’s Season Opener. Next Saturday, it is, the 20th of September. Show starts at 5:00, Meatloaf at 6:00, and Dancing at 7:00. At least once in a lifetime — if not once a year — one ought to find oneself swept up in a crowd of polka-lovin’, two-steppin’, goodhearted people — bellies full of meatloaf — at twilight. I’d get there early if I were you, and stay late, and you’re sure to have one fine time.

A Prairie Home Companion Street Dance — Fitzgerald Theater

In the spirit of fine times, here are a few recipes to try, or share, or both, and if by some fluke you can’t make it to the Opener, well, turn on that radio read loud, and make yourself some meatloaf, and maybe some potatoes, too. And cake.  And don’t be afraid to whoop it up right there in the kitchen, should the moment feel right. It’s in us, you know. To dance and sing. Sure is.

Meatloaf Surprise

1 1b hamburger
4 slices bread, shredded into small pieces
1 egg
1 egg white
½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. basil
1 T ketchup
2 tsp. mustard
1 T barbecue sauce (optional)
Dashes of salt and pepper

brown sugar

miscellaneous “surprises”

In large bowl, mix raw hamburger, bread, egg, egg white, and seasonings until well-blended. (This works best if you use your hands.)

Cover bottom of 9 X 5 loaf pan (or your favorite loaf pan) with brown sugar (about ½ – ¾ cup). Squirt ketchup in a grid design over brown sugar until it is about half covered (½ cup or so). Press about ⅔ of the meat mixture onto the brown sugar/ketchup base. Create a trench in the meat by pressing a large spoon down the center. Fill with cheese of your choice. If you wish, add some chopped green pepper or mushrooms or be creative. Press down, and cover and seal with remaining meat mixture.

Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove cover. Bake another 20 minutes or until desired darkness. Remove from oven. Let sit five minutes, loosen edges with a spatula, and carefully invert onto a platter. Your meatloaf will be covered with a tangy sweet sauce. Makes good sandwiches as leftovers.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

1 bag of tater tots
1 can cream of chicken soup
16 oz sour cream
8 oz shredded Cheddar cheese

Let tater tots thaw and crumble into a large bowl. Mix in soup and sour cream and ½ the cheese. Spread into a baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosted Carrot Cake

2 cups sugar
1½ cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 cups raw shredded carrots
2 cups flour
2 tsp soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp salt

Mix together and bake in a lightly greased 9×13 cake pan at 350 for 45-60 minutes.

8 oz cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 lb powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Cream together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla.
Slowly blend in powdered sugar.
Frost cake when cool.