Meatloaf Wars

by Jeanette Levellie

When we first married, I taught my husband how to create a meatloaf, from my mother’s recipe. Nothing fancy, but when it hits your tongue, you're happy to be alive.
I thought I was doing myself a favor by teaching him to cook more than pork chops and burgers. Aha.
Mr. makes his first meatloaf. We have friends over to share it. They mistakenly think it is his cooking expertise, not my teaching ability, that causes their taste buds to tango.  Hmmpphh.
Next time I need a break from cooking, the new food guru locks himself in the kitchen while he adds soy sauce and other secret condiments to “HIS” recipe. More applause from misled tasters disguised as friends.
The final coffin nail for Mom’s meatloaf occurs when my hero gets up at 5 a.m. on the morning he’s scheduled to cook, and hand-crumbs the bread as fine as a high note on the violin. That night he grins to the sides of his chef’s hat as my ex-friends help him devour his masterpiece. When they get home, they rush to their computers and write stunning reviews for "Meatloaf for the Stars" magazine, and email Mr., suggesting he start a restaurant.
It’s not that I mind never cooking a meatloaf again. The shocked stare from Mr. when I suggest making Mom’s recipe, the guests wondering why the secret spices disappeared, the falling of the sky—I can handle all that.
It’s the demise of Mom’s family formula that I grieve. Now it’s lost in that huge recipe box in the sky, among 297,685 others from unsuspecting wives who taught their husbands to cook. I hope the angel chefs can keep from embellishing it.
If not, Mom is going to have a thing or two to say when she gets there. 

A spunky, sometimes reluctant pastor’s wife of thirty-six years, Jeanette has published articles, greeting card verses, stories and calendar poems. She authors a bi-weekly humor/inspirational column in her local newspaper, and enjoys speaking to church and civic groups, offering hope and humor in every message. She is the mother of two, grandmother of three, and waitress to several cats. Find her blog, On Wings of Mirth and Worth, at http://jeanettelevellie.blogspot.com


  1. Too cute! My mom is so secretive over family recipes. She is very reluctant to give them out to anyone. I typically spread the love around. I wish I could give my husband a recipe and have him follow through on it.


  2. Love it, Jeanette! So The Mister gets fan mail from your recipe, huh??

    I'm grinning to the sides of my own chef's hat.



  3. I knew you would make me smile:)

    My grandmother took all of my favorite dishes onto Glory. I miss her. I miss eating at her table, and feeling my somach swell with love.

  4. TiAnna: I have a friend whose family keeps their recipes secret, too. I don't get it. Glad you share the love around!

    Rhonda: Thanks. No fan mail; I intercept that. Only verbal compliments allowed!

    Tamika: Oh, how sad! I'm sure she'll cook you a meal when you meet again, love.

  5. This would never happen in our family as I struggle with cooking grilled cheese.

    Thanks for the laugh and glad you have worked things out.

  6. Slamdunk: Who says we've worked things out? I have to wait 'til Mr. is out of town to cook a meatloaf, or he acts like I ran over his teddy bear in broad daylight.

    The secret to grilled cheese is a low fire. You must love high flames...

  7. Fun story! I think I need that recipe. I can never manage to make a good meat loaf.

  8. Domestic: The secret is, don't tamp it down too hard--that makes it tough. If you have to even it to satisfy your sense of balance, pat it lightly.

  9. Too funny! I've slowly un-learned to cook, thus convincing my DH to ask questions about how to make various dishes. Now that he's retired he cooks most of our meals and I'm happy to share requested recipes. Cooking was never my favourite activity, although I still bake the bread and angel food cakes around here.

    Carol Garvin

  10. Jeanette:
    This is so funny. My Hubby cooks when he can. But he only cooks what he likes. He's not adventuresome in his cooking or his eating.
    No experimenting with recipes for him.


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