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Jason’s Favorite Meatloaf

A post from Kelli–

No matter what time of day, if you ask Jason what he would like to eat, chances are if you suggest some combination of meat and potatoes, he will happily agree.  And if you add green bean casserole to the mix, he’ll probably love you forever!

With the lovely weather that we’ve been having here in Iowa–ya know…windchills up to -60 below–and the accompanying wind with that, travel on gravel roads and other secondary roads is going to be minimal….unless you have a plow or skid loader!  To make things even better, they have pulled all of the plows from secondary roads in our little 4 county area.  This literally means that there is no way I’ll be getting home anytime soon!

Luckily, Mom lives much closer to a state highway than I do!

I was got up on Tuesday morning and realized all of these happenings…so I decided that I probably should pack up stuff to be gone for a few days.  I made myself a batch of salsa soup with a few alterations–here’s the link–

I usually make mine with a pound of sausage.  I also didn’t have any good canned salsa on hand, so I used a jar of Walmart’s store brand with black beans and corn.  It usually turns out pretty good–especially on a cold day like the ones we are having.

Then I got to thinking and feeling bad for Jason.  On Monday, he put in a 19 hour day trying to get things done up ahead of time as much as he could so that all of the critters would be bedded and so that he could minimize the amount of time he would be out in the cold over the next few days.  He ended up coming in at 1 in the morning and was up and out the door again by 6.  I honestly don’t know how he does it day in and day out, but he does and he’s happy doing it…And that’s the important part!

I realized that one of the only things worse that being cold and tired, was being cold, tired, and hungry.  I couldn’t do much to help with the first two, but I sure could help with the third one!

I grabbed one of my favorite church cookbooks and flipped to my favorite–and Jason’s favorite–meatloaf recipe.  As you can tell again, I don’t do well with keeping the cookbook away from where I’m cooking at…or I’m just a messy cooker….or possibly (actually, definitely) both!

Our favorite is the middle recipe.  It’s a bit blurry in the picture, but I like it because you just mix it all together, throw it in a pan, cook it and its done.

Here is the recipe–

2 pounds hamburger, 1 cup oatmeal, 1 small diced onion (optional), 2 beaten eggs, 1 cup milk, and Greek Seasoning to taste.  You mix that all up, put it in a pan and top it with the sauce–1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup ketchup, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1 tsp dry mustard.  Slather that on top, cook it at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes….and that’s it!

I was running a bit behind and knew I didn’t have a full cup of ketchup, so I ended up just adding some BBQ sauce on top.  It didn’t have time to cool before I had to leave for a meeting, so this is how I left it for Jason–

For some reason, he actually likes instant mashed potatoes.  I don’t know why.  I used to try to convert him, but in the past year or so, I just decided to go with it!  If he likes it and will eat it, I’m all for it…especially if it means less work for me.  And he even had a choice of what flavor….hwo fancy right?!?!?!

Note–I knew he would be home for a quick lunch not long after I left, so I felt okay leaving it out to cool off for him before we put in in the fridge.  After he eats his lunch, he’ll put it in the refrigerator and all will be well.

It worked out perfect for me today too because I made it and popped it in the oven, did a few things around the house, jumped in the shower and by the time I was done, the timer on my Echo just started going off.  I’ll tell you in another post how much I love that Echo!

I love when I’m able to get my adult skills together to get a meal made and get other things done at the same time!  Hopefully I am able to hone in on that skill a bit more in the coming days….because you know….baby!



Kramer Update

For those of you who were here early this morning and a blog post wasn’t I’m so sorry.  We’re all okay….just had a crazy overload yesterday.

Yesterday was our day to take Kramer back to Lacrosse for the next step on his lung cancer journey.

It was his day for mapping and to get a port.  It was also the day to get the radiation schedule.

Check out the sign below.  We graduated and are now allowed to park in the close parking lot…the one for oncology patients.  There is even a specific spot for radiation patients.  It’s not really a place we wanted to be but here we are and we’re going to do all we can to get in, get out and get DONE with this cancer.

The mapping was done first.  That consists of laying in a big bean bag type piece that molds to his body shape.  Every time Kramer goes for radiation they get out his mold and he lays in that exact mold for his treatment.  They then took another chest CT all in an effort to find the correct settings on the radiation machine to best blast his cancer.

We also got another overload of information.  NEVER, NEVER, EVER let any cancer patient go to meetings with the doctor by themselves.  There is too much information to take in for a person who is not dealing with it let alone the person who is dealing with it.  I don’t know how many times I have said something that was discussed at the appointment to Kramer and he “didn’t hear it” or didn’t understand it the way I did.  It truly is hard.  The good news in all of that is that they do give us a folder with all the information we discussed so that is very helpful.

After that, we were off to the hospital portion.  We needed to go there so Kramer could get his port put in.  That was easier than we expected.  He opted to not be put under for the procedure.  He’s so tired of the foggy effects of being put under.  He opted to stay awake.  He’s such a goof.  He asked them if he could watch them do it.  AHHH!!  Who can do that??  It ended up not working for him to…but seriously who would even request that??

By the time we got out of the hospital it was 2pm and he had not eaten.  So to the closed gas station we went.  He’s a gas station food guy.  Besides, if you’ve been in the area, you know our Kwik Trip stations have good food.

If you remember the joke has been that every time we go to Lacrosse the weather is terrible.  We either go early to beat a snowstorm, stay because it was bad or drive home in weather that has just been bad.  This time we thought we might be in the clear.  Not quite…..

This time it was flooding….We drive through a little town in Minnesota called Hokah.  When we went through town on the way there, we could see that the water was high but didn’t think much of it.  On the way home, there was a sign that said the road was closed.  We aren’t super familiar with the roads so we thought we’d keep heading that way and see.

We got to town and the road was still open but only one lane and it was monitored that only one car could drive through at a time as the flood water was going over the road.  We were able to drive through.

We ended up getting into Decorah and heard that the road had closed.  We just made it through.

We came home to a house full of people.  Including KARL!!!  See?? Continue reading

Tiny Baby’s Bit

Kayla is a crocheter.  She does a wonderful work and makes lots of great baby afghans.  Back when Kalissa was pregnant with Carver, Kayla debated and debated about what to make Carver for a afghan.  One day she came home and was working a charity afghan.  Kalissa saw what she was working on and said she loved it.  Kayla was a little taken aback.  It wasn’t fancy.  It wasn’t planned and wonderful.  It was just a simple stitch with simple yarn and a simple pattern.

Kayla ended up gifting it to Carver.  Here she is with baby Carver and the afghan.

Fast forward two and half years….the afghan has been given the name “Bit”.  Carver started calling it Bit and since then, we all call it Bit.  Bit has gotten to be very important to Carver.  He LOVES Bit.  See in the photo below…Bit is with us.

This time around when Kalissa was pregnant, again, Kayla debated on what to make for the new baby.  This time it was a little easier.  She knew what style Kalissa liked.  So here is baby Gannon with his new Bit. Continue reading


postcrossingFrom Kayla:

One of my goals this year is to send a piece of mail every day. I still have plenty of thank-yous and greetings to catch up on, but another fun way to send and receive mail is through Postcrossing.

Postcrossing is a postcard exchange that is easy to join and participate in. You can send and receive postcards from all over the world.

Go to Postcrossing to sign up. To begin, request an address to send a postcard to. You will receive a code to write on the card. When the person receives your card and registers the code, your address will be sent to someone else.

Be sure to update your profile with the kinds of postcards you like and the messages you enjoy. This has been so rewarding for me! As a culinary teacher, I am interested in knowing what everyday food is like around the globe, so I asked people to tell me about their favorite local dish. Imagine my surprise when I received this card from Germany:

Best regards from Bremen! On this card you can see different points of interests of our city. In the north of Germany we have a special meal named “Grunkohl.” The English word for it is ‘kale’ I think.

After some googling, I realized she perfectly described a dish that in our family we call “Grandma Kramer Kale.” Our family has been eating kale long before it took over as a health food craze so it was fun to understand the “official” name for our favorite family dish.

Postcards are fairly inexpensive. Most people prefer tourist cards so I stock up on Iowa-themed cards at the local pharmacy. When people ask for art cards I send a Grant Wood painting which is easy for me to find because he was born in my county.

Postage costs just $.30 in the United States. You can ask for cards within the states or international only. For international mail, I buy stamps by the book at the post office. The price to send a postcard anywhere in the world is $1.10. Having a single stamp is easy but I like to collect many different stamps and use several to add up to the rate.

I highly encourage you giving Postcrossing a try if you like mail and would like to connect with friendly people all over the world.