You can call me Hal.

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Who needs porn when you have meatloaf?
I woke up this morning wondering how much feedback I'd got on the porn I posted last night. Then I remembered that I opted to read Atlas Shrugged instead of writing wine-inspired smut. Sorry about that. But Ayn Rand? So much the misogynistic slash fangirl. Hank Reardon and Francisco D’Anconia are more in love than Kirk and Spock ever were. (NB: I'm only about halfway through the book, so please don't spoil me in comments. The desire to find out what's going on is the only thing that makes me able to slog through this monster.) And The Fountainhead was much the same. There's something at the back of my head about comparing Ayn Rand and Anne Rice, but it hasn't quite surfaced yet.

But the real reason for this post is to share with you the Best Meatloaf Ever, which I made last night. It was all we could talk about all evening. It took me a while to put it all together, but it was so worth it. The original recipe is here, taken from Cook's Illustrated. Here's what I did:

1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb regular ground beef

1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
+ butter for browning, about 1 T

Filler & Liquid:
1/3 cup dry soy vegetable protein (instead of bread/oatmeal/crackers, since we're low-carb)
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 T tomato sauce (approx) + a little water
a few splashes of Merlot, since it was open
2 large eggs
3 oz Monterey Jack cheese, grated finely -- use the smallest shredder you have

1 T soy sauce
1 T Worcester sauce
1 T Dijon mustard (well, I just squeezed a bunch in)
1 T oregano, dry leaf (approx)
1 T basil, dry leaf (approx)
1/4 t thyme, ground
1 t paprika
1 t salt (original called for 3/4 t but I like salt)
1/2 t pepper

1/2 cup tomato sauce (approx - I had a small tin and I just used what was left after using a few T in the vegetables)
scant 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (probably use less and then taste)
1/4 t ground coriander (actually, I can't remember if I put this in or not)
hot sauce or cayenne pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F. Make a meatloaf-baking contraption by putting a wire rack over a baking sheet or pan (I used a lasagne pan -- make sure there's at least a lip on the sheet), covering the rack with thick or doubled foil, and poking some holes in the foil so the loaf can drain. I wish I'd put some foil in the bottom of the pan too. Spray it with non-stick spray or some such.

Heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, then cook the onions and celery until they start to brown. Add the garlic and stir, stir, stir for a minute. If you use fresh herbs instead of dried, add them with the garlic. (Also, I just noticed that this is where the paprika is supposed to go. I just put it in the mixture later.) Reduce heat to low. Add the tomato sauce and a bit of water (the original recipe called for tomato juice) plus a splash of red wine if you have some open and cook for a minute or so. You might want to cool this for a minute.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, broth, and flavouring. Add the soy vegetable protein or your usual filler (the original recipe used 2/3 cup crushed saltines), cheese, and cooked vegetables. Mix it all up, then add the meat. I mix the meat with my hands, but you might want to use a spatula. Try not to mix it more than necessary to blend the ingredients.

Form a loaf, about 2 inches high, on the foil-covered rack, and stick it in the oven. After about 20 minutes, put on the glaze. The loaf should bake for around 55-65 minutes. It took me more like 75, but I think my oven is slow. A meat thermometer should show 160F before you take it out. Let it rest 10-20 minutes before slicing.

Eat with mashed cauliflower or mashed potatoes, depending on your carb status. Also, wine is good. :)

We divided the leftovers equally into two containers, to be fair. I just had another slice for breakfast. Mmm.

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Hank Reardon and Francisco D’Anconia are more in love than Kirk and Spock ever were.

SO TRUE! Good luck finishing the book :)

(NB: I'm only about halfway through the book, so please don't spoil me in comments. The desire to find out what's going on is the only thing that makes me able to slog through this monster.)

ahahaha...wait till you get to The Speech.

The speech! OMG, THE SPEECH!

::clamps hand over mouth to prevent spoilage::

I have heard rumours of The Speech. I'm hoping there are Cole's Notes for it or something once I get there. The print in my paperback is so tiny!

I? Read through the entire speech each and every time I read that damned book (which...may be a dozen times now).

I think I deserve a medal or something. :)

In any case, when you finish the book? We *must* talk about it, because even though it's been 25 years since I was a Rand-ite (i.e., I'm no longer anything like an Objectivist or even a capitalist *g*), Atlas Shrugged still exerts a powerfully romantic grip on me somehow.

I will post when I am done and we'll have a Book Discussion. :) Even as obviously as she writes in AS, I still find it compelling, even if it's not persuasive.

You are so right about Ayn Rand. Hank is madly in love with Francisco. He wants to have his little industrialist babies. It's so cute. If it weren't for the misogyny, I could enjoy these books purely on the fluffy slashy level.

And yay, soon we can talk about Atlas Shrugged!

Your meatloaf sounds really yummy, and I'm not normally a meatloaf fan.

The meatloaf was so, so amazing. We ate about 1/3 of it (and I overate, it was so good), so if you make it, you need to either have more people to eat it or be committed to using the leftovers. I am a meatloaf fan, so I am pleased to have them. :)

I have no idea how much longer it will take me to finish the book, but now that I've got a paperback instead of the hardcover from the library, I'll be able to read it in more places.

Do you think it'd be any good with ground turkey?

::still trying to eat low on the food chain when possible::

Maybe half and half would be okay, but you'd need to season it differently and probably add more liquid or even oil if you used all turkey. Personally, I wouldn't try it; I'd look for a different recipe for turkey meatloaf.

Okay, good to know.

Maybe I can get some grass-fed beef...


Sounds good!

I think maybe the reason Ayn Rand reminds you of Anne Rice is that all the time you read, although you want to find out what's going to happen and you can't stop reading it, you have this suspicion that under all the story somebody's trying to make you absorb something philosophical -- not so much telling you a story as trying to disguise the message they should have sent with Western Union.

Damn. Now I have to go back and reread Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. All your fault.

You'll have to argue very persuasively to convince me that Ayn Rand tried to disguise her message in the least. *g* Though The Fountainhead was less obvious.


Anyway, I'll add my 'yay!' to the idea of a book discussion once you're done.
I dislike objectivism very much, but (as someone else has said) I rather enjoy the books on the level of fiction. (Though I suppose you could argue that I'm letting evil insidious tendrils of the philosophy, such as it is, pentrate my brain each time I re-read her books. >:)

p.s. Have you tried 'We the Living'?

I think I'm pretty immune to the insidious tendrils of the philosophy by this point in my life. *g* I haven't read We the Living, no. Do you recommend it?

Hell, yeah!
It was written before 'The Fountainhead' and 'Atlas Shrugged' so you're (mostly) spared the long speeches outlining her ideas. It's about this woman living in Communist Russia and her relationship with two men. Um, that's a very poor description. I tried to find an extract that would be interesting, but no luck.
Among other things, I find the first sex scene extremely interesting; also Kira's description of a soldier (or is it a construction worker?) standing backlit against a night sky.
Definitely worth reading.

Considering it further, no, I won't even try to defend that statement. You can definitely hear the sound of axes grinding beneath the story. However, I will say that I was drawn enough into the story to be willing to put up with the axes of philosophy, which is somewhat akin to the axes of evil... no, never mind. Not going there. But even as much as I wanted to stuff a sock into John Galt's mouth at 13, I was fascinated by him. I'm more cynical now, but I have to say that she could make a hero interesting. Her theory of the romantic hero at least seems to me to be a viable alternative to the anti-hero, if a bit over-the-top. So is, it occurs me, Horatio Caine. And I did like the fact that the quest was undertaken by a woman, searching for -- well, something to live for.

I love The Fountainhead, for the Howard/Peter-ness.

Yes, very much so. I loved Peter the best.

Crazy, you are the second person who has posted something about Ayn Rand slash recently, and it's driving me insane that I can't remember who the other person was now. I've never gotten around to reading her, even though I've always felt like she was one of those people I need to know about from first hand experience and not just from reading references to and analysis of her in other people's work.

Also, wow, that meatloaf recipe looks *awesome*. I don't eat meat, but I may have to come up with a fake meat version of that. Yum!

I've always felt like she was one of those people I need to know about from first hand experience and not just from reading references to and analysis of her in other people's work.

That's one of the reasons I'm reading it. Also why I was reading Lovecraft earlier this year. I think I saw that slash comment too, in ref to yuletide. bethbethbeth maybe?

God, that meatloaf was just so good I'm having trouble not eating yet another piece today. I think I'm going to just give in and have it.

This might be a silly question but why low-carb?

What are the benefits?

I seem to eat nothing but carbs. And chocolate.

I decided to go low-carb after reading Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival. I don't like the tone of the book -- it's very alarmist -- but I found the argument persuasive. I'm also trying to sleep way more right now.

Hi. I hope you don't mind a random LJer commenting to your old post. I came upon this while google searching for Reardon/D'Anconia slash - I want it written! I want to find it and read it and revel in my fangirlishness!

If you haven't picked up We the Living yet, this stranger recommends it. It's my favorite of all the Rand fiction.

Hope you enjoyed the book, and if you DO know where to find some of that slash, please point me in that direction. :) Thanks!

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