Food! Maren brings you rare or fun recipes and news of funky, out-of-the-way places to dine or buy treats. She is a teacher, mom, and foodie
Festivus - The No Pressure Winter Holiday
I love getting together with my friends for a casual, no pressure, let’s just have fun occasion. Festivus surely fits that bill.
Festivus is a secular December holiday created by the television comedy series Seinfeld. It eschews commercialism and materialism, but loves bonding of friends.
The first step is an “Airing of Grievances.” My friends and I keep it non-threatening by directing our gripes at outsiders (woe unto those who are not invited!) Politicians are an easy victim choice.
Next comes the simple meatloaf feast.
The feast is followed by Feats of Strength and wrestling and pinning the host. We usually go very lightly on this part of the festival because our bellies are full of wonderful meatloaf, potatoes, and other goodies. A full belly and wrestling don't seem like the best combination . . .
Meatloaf is THE Easy-Peasy Genius Entree
Whoever designated Meatloaf as a Festivus food was a GENIUS!
Meatloaf is one of those foods which is extremely forgiving of little wrinkles, adjustments, or slight errors, even.
Here is a quick and easy way to make 2 meatloaves with minimal work.
A Plain and A Spicy Meatloaf
In this two-meatloaf recipe, one of the meatloaves will be bland for the friends whose bodies do not like gas-producing, onions or peppers or yummy ingredients. The other will be good! (I guess you can tell in which camp I sit.)
The beauty of this system is that the cook need not do one of the recipes start-to-finish, and then embark on the second one start-to-finish. This recipe lets you exploit the common ground (which, in this case, includes ground beef . . . haha or soy substitute.)
Festivus Barbequed Meatloaves
Serves 6 to 7 people.
Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Baking time: 30 to 40 minutes.
- Large mixing bowl
- Large spoon
- Clean hands (yes, meatloaf making is a contact sport)
- 2 casserole dishes, each 1-quart size or larger
- Oven preheated to 350 degrees F
- 3 pounds of ground beef which is fatty – such as 75/25 or 80/20 (The leaner ground beef is just too dry. We are not pretending that Festivus meatloaf is health food.)
OR 3 pounds of soy beef-substitute crumbles
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups of seasoned (Italian is good) breadcrumbs (This comes in a cardboard canister – don’t be toasting and grating bread.)
- 1 cup of barbeque sauce (ketchup is a poor substitute, but in a pinch it will suffice)
- ½ cup chopped onion (from a fresh onion, bag of frozen chopped onion, or dried minced onion from the spice section of the grocery store)
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- ½ teaspoon of pepper – the ground spice in a shaker kind
- Preheat the oven if you haven’t already. 350 degrees F.
- Wash your hands especially well, because your hands will be tools. It's fun. Release your inner kid!
- Break the eggs into the large bowl and stir.
- Add to the eggs: about ¾ of the barbeque sauce – just eyeball judge it – there is no need to measure it if you already poured one cup into a measure. Stir well.
- Slowly add all the ground beef or soy crumbles. Do this by taking off about 1 pound at a time and breaking it into crumbly bits letting fall into the mixing bowl. Stir and then add the next pound. Follow the same procedure until the beef is all in.
- Next slowly sprinkle half the bread crumbs over it all. Take those clean hands and squeeze, smoosh, and mix everything together. Then sprinkle the rest of the breadcrumbs and repeat.
The Plain Meatloaf
Spoon about half of this mixture into one of your casserole dishes and set aside on the counter for a moment until the Yummo Delicious Kick-Butt Great Meatloaf is finished.
The Spicy Meatloaf
Add the chopped onion, chopped green pepper, and shaker pepper to what is left in the mixing bowl. Hand smoosh or stir well.
If you have guests who like even more spicy or tasty ingredients, add those now.
Spoon all of this mixture into the other casserole dish.
Drizzle the remaining barbeque sauce on top of each meatloaf.
Time to Cook
- Using hot pads or other protective gear, place both casserole dishes into the hot oven.
- Set a timer for 30 minutes. At 30 minutes, take a look and a smell. The meatloaf should be brown in the center, NOT PINK. If you see pinkness, let the meatloaves cook for another 5 minutes. Check again. Repeat until the pink is gone.
- Serve and enjoy, tinsel-free. : )
SIMPLE Re-Cap of Recipe:
The recipe is repeated below without explanations and pithy side remarks. : (
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
- 3 pounds ground beef, 75/25 or 80/20
- 2 eggs
- 1-1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs, Italian
- 1 cup barbeque sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 green pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix eggs, meat, 3/4 of the barbeque sauce and bread crumbs thoroughly.
- Put half of this mixture into one casserole dish.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the remaining meat mixture and blend well.
- Put this into the second casserole dish and cover with remaining barbeque sauce.
- Cook both in oven for 30 minutes or a little longer to insure that the center meat is not pink (uncooked.)
Festivus Carols to Accompany Meatloaf Meal
For the musically inclined, check these Festivus Carols!
Adjusting for More or Fewer Festivus Guests
If you do not know how to reduce or expand a recipe, then your 6th grade math teacher is very, very sad right now.
Enjoy your feast and the leftovers, if any!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Maren Elizabeth Morgan
Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on December 15, 2011:
AliciaC, oh my goodness! Festivus is a silly holiday created by a TV show, but now it is another excuse for a get-together around the winter holidays. Glad you liked the recipe.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 14, 2011:
Thanks for the meatloaf recipe and for teaching me about Festivus, which I've never heard of before!
Maren Elizabeth Morgan (author) from Pennsylvania on December 14, 2011:
rjsadowski, you are SO right!
rjsadowski on December 14, 2011:
You can't get too many meatloaf recipes.