My Mom-Mom’s Meatloaf
January 20, 2013








My grandmother was a great cook, but you would never know by looking at her. She hated eating for some reason, and was skinny as a rail. Lucky for us, her eyes must have had a palette because her food was great.

Her crab cakes were so crispy and fit perfectly on a saltine cracker. Her potato salad rocked my world. But her meatloaf, her meatloaf was legendary. Hot from the pan, or cold for breakfast with ketchup on a sandwich, her simple meatloaf recipe is one of my favorite things to eat.

My grandmother did a lot of interesting things, which we made fun of at the time. But now that we are older, my sister, cousins and I now understand why she did the things she did. This is what I call the Tao of Mom-Mom.

She stood up when she ate: I now know why she did it because, why sit the heck down when someone at the table is going to need something more to drink, or something else? At my dinner table, as soon as I am about to take my fork and shovel the first bite of food in my mouth, one of my kids spills a glass of water or plops a giant glop of food on their lap.

She kept a flashlight under her bed: I know at least one of my cousins and my husband both do this now, and I think it is super smart. But it seemed neurotic when we were kids.

She hid wads of money in her house: she survived the Great Depression, and knew the importance of not relying on insitutiitions for reliance. Having money on-hand is smart.

I scanned a copy of the recipe my Mom-Mom wrote for me because it’s special to me, and I think it’s funny as heck that on the back she instructed me (I was 24 or so when she wrote it), “Be careful you don’t burn yourself. Use pot holders to take out of the oven. Good luck.” While I laughed after reading this because, really, who wouldn’t use potholders to take something out of the oven? I didn’t one time when I was removing a skillet from the oven and burned the heck out of my hand. You see, Mom-Mom always knows best, even when we think we do.


Mom-Mom’s Meatloaf

Dorothy Burnham

  • 2 lbs. ground round
  • 3 to 4 TBSP uncooked oats (oatmeal, Mom-Mom specified, in case you didn’t know)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP chopped green peppers
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seed (don’t leave this out – – it was her secret ingredient to many things)
  • 4 TBSP finely chopped onion
  • Salt and Pepper

Add all ingredients and use hands and squeeze meat so it is not coarse, mixing well. Shape into a loaf and put in pan. Spread ketchup all over. Bake covered, at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours. Last 20 minutes remove cover and pour any grease out of the pan. Spread a new layer of ketchup over the meatloaf and bake.


  1. Nancy

    I just made mom-mom’s meatloaf for dinner tonight . Thank you for posting this, what a treasure it is to see my mom‘s handwriting and hear her words in my head .

  2. Beth @ My Destiny

    I use this same recipe except I don’t use the celery seed or reapply ketchup. I’ll have to give it a try.

  3. Gloria

    I never knew about the celery seed….yes it was delicious, and how she made such delicious food when she never tasted it herself we will never understand.


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