More, I've been sick and hiding in the house. I've been cooking soup. Which, while deeply satisfying, wasn't any kind of culinary revelation by any means.
I did, however, make a meatloaf the other day. It was good, and it was even better the next day. Unfortunately, I continue to struggle with my photographic ambitions for this weblog, so there is no evidence that the thing ever existed.
Here's how to make a very good meatloaf:
Preheat your oven to 350F
Get some ground meat. About 2 pounds. Whatever kind you want. I like 1 pound ground beef (medium, not lean - the extra fat keeps it moist), and then the rest ground venison, pork, chicken, a mix of the above if possible. Put the meat in a bowl, with 2 raw eggs, 1 finely diced onion, 3 cloves finely chopped garlic, a good amount of salt, ground black pepper, about 3/4 cup bread crumbs, a healthy pinch each dry sage and thyme, about 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp hot sauce (unless you have a nuclear-grade hot sauce, in which case you'd want to use less).
Moosh it all together until mixed, and lay it out in a flattened log shape on a baking sheet that you've covered in foil. Or don't cover it, if you're a masochist and/or have hours to spend scrubbing your baking sheet.
Here's the thing that makes this here meatloaf superior to it's more pedestrian brethren: Rather than a potato chip crust, or a ketchup glaze, this meatloaf is finished with bacon. Get a package of bacon, thick-cut if possible, and lay slices side by side, over the top of the the meat, diagonally. Then on the opposite diagonal slant, lay more bacon, weaving them over and under the bacon you've already put down. Tuck the hanging edges under the meatloaf, and pop the sheet into the oven.
The meatloaf is done when the bacon on top is fully cooked, but not crisp. The bacon juice will keep the meatloaf moist, protecting it from the drying oven. And it's pretty. And bacon generally improves everything, right?
I should have taken pictures.