For meatloaf lovers, I am about to be blasphemous. I think many meatloaf recipes are disgusting - especially those with the sugar-ketchup crust on top. This meatloaf recipe isn't like that. I can make it with ground beef and lamb from my farm, plus bleu cheese I made, spinach I grew, bread crumbs from old homemade bread, an Italian blend of dried herbs that I grew, and eggs from my hens.
Or, I can just buy all of the ingredients and it's easier while still being delicious.
This is one of my Sunday meals, so I try to do as much of the work the day before. I like to serve this with Armenian flatbread (using my bread maker set on the dough cycle), a garlic vegetable sauté (vegs chopped the day before), and a dessert (possum pie made the day before). I also opt to cook this one in muffin tins, but it can be baked in a traditional loaf pan with the length of time increased. I like to use meatloaf pans so that any fat drains out from the loaf.
"How can you stand to eat your pets!?"
I'm sure most people have asked that or been told that depending on which part they play: the meat raiser or the supermarket consumer. Let me just take a moment to explain one thing - eating my "pets" is actually nicer than eating feedlot beef. My animals are loved, handled gently, and allowed to behave like animals should. They eat healthy food, sunbathe, scratch on trees, and enjoy their lives. They are raised by their moms and kept in herds of their friends. When they are "taken down the road," they have no idea what is happening. They are not hurt first or scared or kept in crowded dirty pen or feed lots. Lights on, lights off. I don't think all animals are afforded the same courtesy, especially poultry, and I think that part is the shame.
This does tie in to naming livestock. Livestock are not the same as pets ... not always. Pets are companions and often work on the farm, too. Livestock are producers (or should be). We name all the livestock we plan to keep for longer than meat. Honestly, a lot of the calves end up with nicknames even though they are destined for the freezer - there is Hamburgler, Big Red, Little Red, Chocolate. We've heard of naming them Meatloaf, Chuck, Fillet Mignon (we didn't eat her but sold her - too cute), etc. Our other animals have names that, for the most part, we remember and use when we handle them, and we have a method to this madness.
I have had many people ask me about getting a dairy animal - cow, sheep, or goats - for family use or homesteading. I have homesteaded some with dairy animals and think it is definitely a viable consideration on a small scale. From my experience, you need to consider time demands for milking and animal care, annual breeding, feeding, shelter, and handling soiled bedding and manure. This is just a basic introduction - things I usually try to share in the first conversation with those seriously asking.
We keep of herd of Oberhasli goats - both purebred and a few that are a mix. We've had Nubians before and like their long ears, Roman noses, and endless color variations (especially the spots), but prefer the gentler and quieter nature of the Oberhasli in our situation. They are one of the more uncommon breeds, but usually not hard to find.
Oberhasli, also know as Swiss Alpine, is descended from a breed in central Switzerland. They are brown bay - red-brown with black trim, which is called chamoisee. There is also a recessive gene for black among the American Oberhaslis. To preserve the breed's traditional color, only black does can be registered. We have had black purebred kids from our gene mix and it's a fun addition.
Oberhaslis can be registered whether they are polled or disbudded, meaning they would grown horns if allowed but the horns are destroyed before they grow. We breed for health, milk production, easy kidding, and good mothering. Some fun variations within those goals include some black and polled goats.
Wife to Brandon, mother to Tess and Liam, farmer, entrepreneur, cook & baker, nurse, and accountant who loves to try new things, travel, and work toward greater self-reliance.