12.042 Meatloaf


16 (Tue) February 2021



by me

at home

-Changgok, Sujeong, Seongnam, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-

with W and IZ

Newbery 100 Medals, 100 Meals (36) (see 100 NEWBERY M&Ms)

While reading the 100 books that have been awarded the annual Newbery Medal since 1922, I will also attempt to create one dish for every book, a dish that is directly referenced in or indirectly inspired by the events of the book.  The 100th Medal was recently announced: When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller – a Korean-themed book!  Food plays a strong role in many of the stories; not surprising as the characters in most of the books are faced with adversity of some sort, including poverty, so they’re often very hungry and thus grateful whenever they get a bite to eat – as we all should be at every meal, give us this day our daily bread.  The dishes will be featured as posts on Give Me This Day.

I never liked covers of fiction books that feature real people on them, like where did they get this guy?

Bud, Not Buddy (2000) by Christopher Paul Curtis.  Set in Michigan during the Great Depression, the book is about 10-year-old Bud Caldwell, a boy who lost his mother and runs away from the orphanage in search of his long lost father, meeting people and experiencing life along the way.

I enjoyed the book.  The skillful writing presents a clear picture of the harsh realities faced by Bud – abusive foster parents, soup kitchens, sundown towns, homeless encampments – while keeping the story optimistic and empowering through Bud’s upbeat attitude, ever-so-clever “Bud Caldwell’s Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself,” and ultimately through his precious naivete.  As an added bonus for me, jazz plays a role in the plot.  The story ties up a bit too tidily to be believed, but Bud deserves a happy ending, so why not.

By coincidence, 4 books most recently featured on GMTD were set during the Great Depression, 3 of which were awarded the Newbery within 4 years of each other: Thimble Summer (1939), Sounder (1970), Out of the Dust (1997), A Year Down Yonder (2001), Bud, Not Buddy (2000).

[paraphrased in part]

When we got into the restaurant I could see that it was someone’s living room that they’d set about ten card tables and some folding chairs in.  Then the smell of the place got into my nose and I could tell why folks were lining up to get in.

I close my eyes and took in a big snort of air.  It was like someone took a old pot and poured about a hundred gallons of hot apple cider and a hundred gallons of hot coffee into it, then stirred eight or nine sweet potato pies, crusts and all, into that, then let six big steamy meat loafs float on top of all that, then threw in a couple of handfuls of smashed potatoes, then boiled the whole thing on high.  This must be exactly how heaven smells!

I could tell by the smell that Mr Jimmy was telling the truth when he said this was the best restaurant in Grand Rapids.  Shucks, I’ve never eaten in one before, but I’d say this was the best restaurant in the world!  I opened my eyes ’cause the smell was starting to get me dizzy.

The book inspired me to serve the meatloaf with “smashed” potatoes, which now seems obvious though I’d never thought to do it before.

I made my standard meatloaf (see 3.278 (Tyler Florence’s) Dad’s Meatloaf with Tomato Relish), this time with a whole package of bacon.  The rendered fat dripped through the loaf to make it super moist, the only drawback being the deep puddle of oil left in the bottom of the pan.

(See also FOODS.)

(See also PLACES.)

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