Looking at Familiar Foods

Son#2 was locked in his house awaiting results from his COVID-19 test. He had been exposed at work by a coworker. So while he was stuck at home he sent a message to us: “Can you go pick-up food if I call it in? I need nutrients.” I had just put dinner in the oven and suggested we could drop off a plate. It just so happened the be a favorite meal that I hadn’t made in a long time. His response was “YES! Tasty food!”


This is my Cranberry Turkey Loaf
1/2 can whole cranberry sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 lbs ground turkey
2 eggs
2 T. catsup
3/4 c. cracker crumbs (I use Wheat Thins Tomato Basil flavor)
2 T. dehydrated diced onion
2 t. Italian seasonings
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
3 T. dried parsley
1/4 t. dried basil

Place the brown sugar in the bottom of a glass loaf pan. Place the cranberry sauce over the sugar in an even layer. Mix the remaining ingredients and carefully spoon into the loaf pan trying not to push the cranberry sauce into an uneven layer. Place the loaf pan on a cookie sheet to catch any boil over. Bake 50 minutes at 350 degrees F. When done, allow the loaf to stand until the liquid stops boiling. Then invert onto a platter to serve.

Comfort in the familiar smells
A cloying sweetness blooms and swells
From the kitchen bananas over ripe
A boiling kettle of cut up tripe
Each culture has its foods
And every childhood includes
Mother’s recipes that signal home
We carry with us where ere we roam
For some its pasta or stir-fry with curry
Others remember PB&J made in a hurry
That comfort food that makes us calm
Or when sick is a healing balm
No matter age or state in life
We recall home with fork and knife

53 thoughts on “Looking at Familiar Foods

  1. Thanks for the recipe! I’ll be trying it later in the autumn. For my sons, it’s a meal that has many different names. We call it goulash or shipwreck, while others call it American Chop Suey or Homemade Beefaroni. My sons always cheer when they find out I’m making some.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Like your poem says, Mom’s home cooking is the best whether it was plain or fancy or wildly ethnic. I loved my mom’s meatloaf and chicken paprikas. It turns out both came straight out of the Betty Crocker cookbook, which I got as a gift for my wedding shower. Nothing perks a person up like the delivery of a home-cooked favorite meal. I hope your son’s test turns out OK. My sister, who works in a nursing home, has been through the contact tracing/quarantine routine twice and says waiting and worrying is the worst.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He got the all clear! So he and the rest of the family are relieved. You are right – the waiting is the worst part… I was gifted a “The Fanny Farmer’s Cook Book” at my wedding shower. It is paperback and I’ve nearly destroyed it I use it so much. Luckily I found it in hardback so I’ve got a back up when the other falls apart completely!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Sorry, Muri, I was wasn’t being rude – I’ve just seen or heard of dried onions. I was concerned that America was experiencing a shortage of them……like toilet paper. Yes, we have dried herbs and dried shallots which come from Chinese supplies. Dried onions ? A totally new one to me. ( Though I’m going to give your recipe ago later in the week:))

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Perish the thought that I was offended. Just surprised and I never considered the question rude at all. Now I’m worried that my response was construed as abrupt or sounding mean! Here the dried onion is a pantry staple – I keep a pint jar of them in the cupboard at all times. Of course you can always substitute fresh – the amount is different. 2 Tablespoons is about a third of a fresh onion. This is one of Sparky’s all time favorites as he is crazy for cranberries. He likes the extra cranberry sauce to be served as a side…

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Wash the turkey?!?! No washing needed. I just add the spices. I tend to cook without salt since I’m a little sensitive to it. We always add it after the fact to allow for personal preferences. There is lots of salt in the crackers so it generally doesn’t need any salt. This is one of the family favorites!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I love venison and caribou and elk. The bison we get around here are raised like beef cows so the taste is indistinguishable. I made Everything but the kitchen sink Meatloaf yesterday night. Sparky had it for dinner yesterday, lunch today and dinner tonight! I think he likes it!

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s