Pickled Asparagus in Meatloaf

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Finding ways to make my children happy through a wonderful meal of meatloaf.

The girls and I have been exploring animal life in the garden. Today we spotted a snake that we chased to see where it might go. We tried to  figure out where its home may be. I have not identified the snake yet, but it seemed quite afraid of us. We then spent time examining an emerald green beetle. Finally we harvested okra for dinner. Katya wanted to help make dinner, and Sakura seemed prepared to give her sister the space.  Katya wanted to use pickled asparagus in the dinner, so I was left to come up with a recipe.

    We had gone to Phoenicia the other day when Katya spotted the pickled asparagus. She loves anything pickled at the moment. Of course, adding pickles to a sandwich or dinner is her favorite  Yet there is more to life than pickled cucumbers. I have no idea why we absolutely needed to buy the asparagus, but apparently it was a must for Katya. I thought of various meals which included asparagus, but these centered around fresh asparagus. The one dish where a pickled vegetable may be good was a Japanese roulade that had an asparagus spear wrapped with the meat braised in a liquid containing soy sauce. Germans have a roulade with a pickle spear in it, but this version is much larger. I did not have a thinly sliced meat for such a dish, but I did have ground meat defrosting. This turned out to be prefect. For a four year old, like Katya, mixing the ingredients into the meat is no problem. In fact, it is fun. We gathered our spices. I tired to control the amounts while she added them into the bowl. The ground meat went in, along with an egg. She squished away.
    This mixture was spread out flat onto my cutting board.  We laid the asparagus onto the middle. We folded the meat over the pickle, and shaped it as if it were a loaf of bread. Katya is used to the bread shape from our bread making activity. I guess we could have used a loaf pan, but the next part would have been hard. Instead of creating a sauce to brush onto the loaf, we pressed in sesame seeds to cover the top sides of the loaf. Oil was drizzled over the loaf, and we set this into a 350F oven for about 40 minutes. We had used vaguely Middle Eastern spices.
    The side dishes consisted of okra with onions from the garden and rice with mint. The okra was sliced at the diagonal, and pan fried with the onions. A little salt and pepper. The mint was added to the rice with a pat of butter before serving. Katya helped with the side dishes too. Cutting with the chef’s knife can be problematic, but her safety consciousness is improving.
    I liked how the meal turned out. We served the meatloaf with typical sauces found in the Middle East: tahini, tatziki, and garlic mayonnaise. We bout these premade at the store. I think the best part was seeing Katya’s pride when the plate was served to her mother.

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at yourhoustonhomeinspector.com). For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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