I found “Esther’s meatloaf” when I sorted through a tub of items marked “Dave’s things” that has been safely tucked away under our bed. Treasures I looked for last year and couldn’t find (because I didn’t look in this tub) were unearthed, which made for a happy day. Plus, I also found a recipe in Grandma Hilty’s handwriting – “Esther’s Meatloaf.”
Esther was Grandma’s oldest child and Mom Slabach (Dave’s mom) was next in line. After mom’s death in 1992, I developed a deeper kinship with Aunt Esther because she reminded me of Mom. What a treat it was to find this recipe. I can just see her stooped over in her kitchen, putting this meatloaf recipe together.
Of course, I had to make the recipe. The ingredients are the usual ingredients you’ll find in most meatloaf recipes. Yet this one was special because it reminded me of Aunt Esther who joined her sister in Heaven years ago.
Because I needed to get this meatloaf out of the oven sooner than later, I put it into muffin tins. This reduced the baking time by at least twenty minutes. The recipe was a hit. I had no doubt because everything I ever had at Aunt Esther’s table was a hit.
More on the recipe
As with any recipe, you can add or decrease the amount of seasonings to suit your taste and health needs. I usually make meatloaf in a square pan, but sometimes I do it in a loaf pan. This recipe works in any pan. This time I opted to put it into muffin tins. This container allows you to decrease the baking time. It’s also a fun way to serve kids because they get their own “muffin meatloaf”.
The recipe for Esther’s meatloaf
- 1.5 lb hamburger
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 3/4 cup dry oats
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup shredded onion
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- Mix the first 7 ingredients together well [all but the ketchup and brown sugar]
- Place in a loaf pan (OR in muffin tins)
- Mix ketchup and brown sugar together well
- Put topping on the top of the loaf (or muffin loaves)
- Bake loaf at 350 for 1 1/2 hours. For muffin tins, decrease the baking time.