(This was originally posted August 4, 2010, but I still find it current and releavnt)
You can’t make a good meatloaf without mixing it up with your hands. You have to dig in to the gloppy mess up to your wrists, bread crumbs under your fingernails, grease coating your hands.
Some cooks will try to mix everything with a spoon, but this creates a splotchy, not so appetizing product.
Other cooks are only willing to get their hands so dirty so the various ingredients never really blend together and the end result is inconsistent and not as flavorful as it could be.
When a cook plunges their hands in to the meat and eggs and seasonings, being sure to spread everything around, the resulting loaf is a savory delight. This messy amalgam becomes a fulfilling meal and produces leftovers for days to come. In fact, the leftovers are better the next day once everything has had a chance to meld. Good meatloaves hold up well in the freezer, as well reminding the diners of the chef’s great skills, long after the initial meal was enjoyed.
Relationships are like meatloaves. The best ones can be very messy, at times. Those who keep their distance with the spoon find meatloaf bland and not to their liking. Those who only half-heartedly mix things up never experience the satisfaction a great meatloaf.
Those who are willing to dive in with both hands, who fully commit to the work involved, they get to enjoy this full sensory feast. Sometimes onions may produce tears, salt may sting a previously unnoticed cut, a hidden piece of eggshell may lodge itself painfully under a fingernail. But still the end result – the ultimate in comfort food – is worth it, with leftovers and memories feeding the soul for many meals.