Why it’s okay to eat Trump’s favorite foods for the inauguration (meatloaf sandwiches that melt in your mouth!)

Somewhere in cyberspace I read that meatloaf sandwiches are one of Trump’s favorite foods. Years ago I discovered Five Guys was one of Obama’s favorite places to eat, and I happily ate burgers with my boys there year after year without a hint of rancor.

I learned to cook in Italy. So meatloaf wasn’t on the menu in the Strickland house for a very long time. I tried, failed, felt bored and uninterested, until I messed around with the Williams and Sonoma meatloaf recipe and made it my own — I now call it “Mama Jen’s Meatloaf” and our son Zach feels incredibly loved every time I serve it!

But before I get to the recipe, I’d like to share my main kitchen tip: Cook with Love. 

Clearly we’re going to need more love than hate this week, so let’s refresh ourselves with the Bible’s recipe for love — so we can love people like this — 

Recipe for Love

7 cups of Patience

6 1/2 cups of Kindness

(remove envy and sift out boasting!)

(remove all arrogance and rid yourself of rudeness)

(refuse irritability)

(throw resentment far away from you)

Add 5 cups of Truth

Bear all things (that’s the garlic and onion)

Believe all things (the eggs and oil)

Hope all things (the meat holding it all together)

Add some endurance (the brown sugar that makes everything sweet).

Remember this recipe just in case you’ve been acting a fool: “When I became an adult, I gave up childish ways . . . so now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-13)

So I can eat Obama’s hamburgers with joy, faith, hope, and love.

And we all can eat my meatloaf sandwiches in peace. Because our trust is in God, not in man. When we don’t like the way our country is going, we can all pray, all love, all hope, and my friends, we can all break bread together without a hint of resentment or anger, even when we disagree. If Jesus ate his last meal in peace with people who agreed and disagreed with him, so can we.

Happy Inauguration Day. No matter where you stand, you can taste and see that the Lord is good. And so are my meatloaf sandwiches! From one Italian cook to a friend on the other side of the aisle — peace!

Mama Jen’s Meatloaf Sandwiches

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large chopped onion

1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

3 cloves garlic

1/8 teaspoon red pepper (more if you like it hot — you can even use tabasco but I skip the heat for the kids)

3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons stone-ground mustard

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs

2 lb ground beef chuck (90% lean)

1 lb ground pork

3 eggs, lightly beaten

salt and freshly ground pepper

Mrs. Baird’s large white bread (if you live in CA, I’m so sorry that you don’t have Mrs. Baird’s bread. It’s truly sad. Just find the softest sweetest white bread you can find. You’ll have to come to Texas for the real thing!)

Mayo

2 cups ketchup

1 cup brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, and garlic and sauté , stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl and stir in the red pepper (or tabasco), Worcestershire sauce, mustard, water, and bread crumbs. Add the ground beef, ground pork, eggs, 2/3 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (or just shake shake shake till you are happy)

Take off your rings. Don’t worry about your nails. Dig in. Mix, mix, mix with your bare hands, counting blessings and looking around your home at the mess and the beauty and the glory of it all.)

Spoon the mixture into a 9 X 13 casserole dish, packing it into a compact loaf. Bake for about 1 hour until cooked through. While it’s baking, make the secret sauce, passed down from Linda, the Cowboys’ mother.

Using a wire whisk, mix together the ketchup and brown sugar in a bowl – you can even add more sugar. Make it nice and thick!  After the meatloaf has been cooking for about an hour, spread a liberal portion of the secret sauce over the meatloaf, saving some for later. Say a prayer that your endurance, gentleness, kindness, and peace will increase, and put it back in the oven for 5-10 minutes till it’s done and piping hot!

(I really should write a cookbook don’t you think?!)

Get out a pretty plate and a cutting board. Line up the bread on the cutting board and carefully slather each piece with mayo.

Slice up that meatloaf sister. Do it with joy.

Pile it on the bread, spreading it evenly. Add some more secret sauce for the love of God. Cut it in half. 

Serve and be happy! (by the way, you made enough to freeze for later, use for leftovers with mashed potatoes or offer your neighbors.)

Taste and see that the Lord is good! Always has been, always will be!

Your friend,

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