HALLOWEEN SKULL MEATLOAF
½ cup bread crumbs
1 small onion
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon ground mustard
¼ teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ketchup
6 slices provolone, about ¼ pound
2 stuffed queen olives
3 ounces tomato paste
1 red bell pepper
9, or so, tic tacsTM (Only for display. Do not eat.)
8″-x-8″ loaf pan
Serves 4. Takes 1 hour 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add bread crumbs and eggs to large mixing bowl. Mix with fork until well blended. Mince onion. Add onion, milk, ground beef, mustard, paprika, pepper, salt, and ketchup. Mix with hands until well blended. Transfer meatloaf mix to loaf pan. Smooth with fork or spatula. Shape meatloaf into a skull. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until meatloaf is no longer pink in center.
Okay, this is where the meatloaf becomes Halloweenish. Remove loaf pan from heat. Completely cover top of meatloaf with provolone slices. (Cover top half of the meatloaf’s side with cheese. (Do not completely cover the sides. The cheese on the bottom will melt onto the pan, taking away from the effect of the skull.)
Poke holes in cheese for the eyes. Place queen olives in these holes. Remove cheese from where nose will be. Cut a ring large enough for a mouth from red bell pepper. Place bell-pepper ring where the mouth should be. Spread tomato paste in the nose hole and in the mouth
Put meatloaf back in oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Use spoon to remove any stray bits on the side or any cheese that melted past the meatloaf skull. Place tic tacs inside bell-pepper ring. These are the teeth. (The tic tacs are for display only. Don’t eat them with the meatloaf). Boo!
1) Get into the Halloween spirit and serve this dish during October to valued friends and family.
2) Serve it during all the other months to all other guests.
3) As a hint.
4) Should one complain, simply, “Ha, ha, my mistake, is it really not October?”
5) When he retorts, “No, it’s April.”
6) Then you say, “Well, it must be April in the Southern Hemisphere.”
7) They’ll say, “It’s still April, even there.”
8) Don’t give in. “I know for a fact the seasons down there are reversed. It’s spring here. So it must be fall down there.
9) At this point the recalcitrant guest will cover his face with his hands and commence to moaning.
10) Press home your advantage. “October is in fall. If it is fall down there, it must be October in the Southern Hemisphere. Quod Erat Demonstratum.
11) This will rouse the guest. “That was to be proved. You know Latin. I’m impressed.”
12) Puff out your chest. “I’m not just another pretty face.”
13) “Maybe so, but it is still April in the Southern Hemisphere. If it’s April here, it’ll be April there.
14) “How do you know?” you’ll ask. “Have you been to both hemispheres at the same time? Can you bilocate?
15) Your rapier-like insights will temporarily flummox him. “No I have not,” he’ll manfully concede. “But, I know the American ambassador in Australia. Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere. I’ll give him a call if that is all right with you.” You agree as you are fairness incarnate.
16) Your guest calls his friend in Australia. “I have someone here who claims it’s April where you are. Would you please tell him the month?”
17) He passes his cell phone to you. The ambassador says, “Hi, it really is April in Australia.”
18) “Thank you,” you say, “you have solved a rather knotty scientific conundrum. Sorry to have disturbed you at work.”
19) “Not at all,” says the Ambassador, “while it is Friday where you live, it is Saturday here.”
20) “Good heavens!”
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.