To best appreciate my affection for Demir and all of the guys at Nomadic, you’ll need to close your eyes. And feel the sun. Feel its baking ability. Really feel it penetrate the skin on your arms. Then feel your feet. Feel your soles becoming ever more tender. Now your knapsack. Feel the little treasures you’ve been collecting dig the string straps a bit deeper into your shoulders. And your water bottle. Feel its reassuring presence. Reassuring, but no longer refreshing, because the water long ago went tepid.
Now open your eyes! Enter the peace and cool and quiet and comfort of the Nomadic Trading booth. Look how beautiful. And listen. They’re sincerely glad you’re here, inviting you to come in and share their space for a while. They’d love to sell you a rug (and they have), but hey, no pressure. Please let’s just sit and enjoy and reflect together on how lucky we all are to be surrounded by such exotic beauty out in the fields of the Texas countryside.
If your road trip to Round Top is going to last well into the evening, the least you can do is leave a meat loaf in your place.
Truth be told, this recipe creates quite an attractive meat loaf, for a meat loaf. Unfortunately, it’s so light and flavorful and tasty that I have been unable to capture a “before” photo.
The exciting part is that I made up the recipe all myself. OK friends and family. Hush. Not everyone is aware that the three images below are a good example of a Kelly recipe, if you could even call it that:
For those of you who choose to have faith, here it goes:
Preheat to 325. Meat loaves like a slow burn.
Now get to work. First put some leftover steamed cauliflower and carrots on the chopping board. Oh stop. Don’t get grouchy already. Use whatever leftover vegetables, or even cooked frozen ones you like. But cauliflower really works.
Next sauté some garlic, then add that last bit of past-the-due-date-organic-baby-spinach-in-a-box to the pan and let it wilt. Try not to be concerned that the inventor of this recipe had to look up the correct spelling for sauté. Plunk the garlic and wilt onto the chopping board.
If you have some pitted Kalamata olives and not just a cruelly deceptive jar of pitted Kalamata olive juice, add some of those to the pile.
Chop it all into bits and put the chop in a nice big bowl.
Now add a can of those recently invented Fire Roasted Tomatoes to the bowl. (Thank you whoever came up with those.)
Next come the spices. I vote for Maldon salt flakes, white ground pepper and Greek Seasoning, but only because that’s what I had and everything turned out so yummy. Add whichever spices you’re feeling.
Next, make a little empty spot in the corner of the bowl and crack an egg into it. Stir it up with a fork, then gradually mix the mixed up egg into the entire bowl of spicy chopped veggies. I like this part because it makes me seem so skilled.
Now add the meat. I vote for low fat content grass-fed ground beef, but if you have another choice, fine. Meatloaf is hard enough to take without involving a meat that disturbs you. Squoosh it all up with your fork or a wooden spoon. In my kitchen, the less the fingers are involved, the better.
And now you add the panko. If you’ve bought Kikkoman brand, you have an internal Ziploc pouch, which allows you to put in any amount you like. I say about a cup and a half, but use your common sense here. You want the panko to transform the squoosh into whatever consistency seems right for plunking the mix into the loaf pan.
Next, plunk the mix into the loaf pan. I like a glass loaf pan, but I’m not sure it matters.
And then it’s just about letting it cook for an hour or so, and then letting it sit for 15 min. If you were going to leave it for the fam, I’d let it cook for about 45, leave it in the fridge and have your instruction note say, “Heat this up at 325 for about 40 min.” Microwaved meatloaf isn’t all that great.
OK, if I’ve broken any rules of cooking or health department safety recommendations, please leave me a comment. Otherwise, enjoy my vaguely Greek super veggie meat loaf and bon appétit!
In this random list of my very favorite things about my very favorite place I’ve tried to capture the area’s special pieces and parts. Some are big deal, some are small gestures, some are legendary and some are just tiny pip and squeak.
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