Away from residence, Minj discovered herself craving one of many comforting recipes from Southern Fried Sass: a meatloaf dish created by her mother. It reminds her of Wednesday evening household dinners, and the Thursday afternoon meatloaf sandwich lunches at college that adopted.
“Now, every time the air will get even barely chilly and the world feels darker—not simply bodily, however metaphorically—I simply need one thing shiny. To me, that’s what my mother’s meatloaf is like, it’s shiny,” she says. “My childhood was not nice, however the good moments have been shiny for me, and the meatloaf was at all times a extremely shiny spot. It made me really feel heat, it made me really feel taken care of.”
That’s why, when she’s not on the highway, she nonetheless enjoys the meal on a weekly foundation. Now, her husband, sister, nephews, and mother—who all share a Florida residence—take turns cooking, however her mother’s meatloaf retains its integral spot within the rotation, serving as a flavorful reminder of life’s pleased moments. Right here’s how Minj and the entire household benefit from the dish to the fullest.
1. Mashed potatoes are a should—for many.
Minj loves residing together with her household—“I by no means have time to actually get homesick,” she says—however there may be one tiny level of competition on meatloaf nights: Her nephews don’t eat mashed potatoes, the basic facet dish that at all times accompanied the meal.
To maintain the peace, Minj and her household present a facet of rice for the boys, and basic mashed potatoes and gravy for the grown-ups. Succotash additionally pairs completely with the meatloaf, as a result of, in keeping with Minj, “I’ve at all times liked lima beans, and you may’t go mistaken with corn—it’s candy and scrumptious.”
2. Sip on a basic Southern staple together with it.
Aspect dishes could also be negotiable, however the one factor that’s not is the meatloaf’s good accompanying beverage. “There’s at all times a large jug of candy tea and it’s at all times home made—there’s no such factor as a manufactured candy tea,” Minj says.
A lot of grocery retailer variations are both too citrusy or too candy, Minj says. “The important thing to a great Southern candy tea is you should not be capable of actually style the sugar,” she says. “I like one squeeze of lemon in the entire pitcher and simply sufficient sugar in it to take the bitter edge off.”
3. Hold the dinner desk a tech-free zone.
Rising up, Minj’s household abided by a strict no-distraction coverage at dinnertime that she cherishes to this present day. “That was the one time when the radios went off, the TVs went off, and every little thing else was shut out,” she says. “Even my father, who was not the best presence in my life, that was the one time when he was nice. We might sit down and speak and share. The entire household would get collectively, and that is nonetheless what we do at present.”