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There’s a million ways to make a meatloaf, and in 37 years, I’ve sampled a bunch of ’em. Through the good and bad, no matter how tasty the dish, I keep going back to the best meatloaf I’ve ever eaten – a childhood staple made by my Mother that truly tastes unlike any other I’ve ever encountered. Since doing food here on The Rock Father is a new-ish thing for me, I decided to get into the background of this meatloaf, and my Mom was kind enough to crack open her recipe books for a look at this (and some other) tasty treats for exploration in my kitchen, and here on the site. Today I’ll share the evolution of a special meatloaf that began in the early 1970s as “Pream Surprise Meatloaf,” marketed on recipe cards for a forgotten dairy creamer, and how we’ve updated it for 2013.

Earlier this month, we started with my Mom’s current version of the recipe, as she made two meatloafs that she brought over for us to enjoy the night before I made my trip out to Smucker’s HQ (more on that soon). One was beef, the other turkey. Aside from that main ingredient, nothing was different… including the taste, and that was proven hands-down when my non-meat-eating wife (she’s mostly vegetarian, though she has returned to eating turkey and chicken) accidentally finished off the leftover beef meatloaf when I was out-of-town. When I returned, it was my chance to see if i could make the meatloaf just as good as Mom.

Pream Surprise Meatloaf - 2013 Edition

Here’s the original recipe in it’s unedited form… one that I may try soon, just for old-time sake. We haven’t done it with the cheese and bacon in probably 25+ years, and I want to try it like this again…

Pream Surprise Meatloaf (Original early 1970s Recipe)

 
Prep Time: 10 minutes. Cooking Time: 60-70 minutes. Serves: 8
meatloaf ogrecipeIngredients:
2 Eggs
1 Cup Dry Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Powdered Coffee Creamer
1 Tablespoon Minced Onion
2 Teaspoons, Salt
1/4 Teaspoon, Pepper
3 Tablespoons, Ketchup
1 Cup Water
2lbs Lean Ground Beef
2 Strips Bacon
5 Slices American & Swiss Cheese cut diagonally
Paprika
 
Directions: Heat oven to 350°. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add remaining ingredients except bacon, cheese, and paprika: mix well. Press meat mixture into 9×5 loaf pan. Top with bacon. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove from oven; place cheese slices over top, alternating colors and overlapping points. Sprinkle with paprika. Continue baking until cheese is slightly melted, about 10 minutes depending on your oven.

This is the way that we make it today…

Pream Surprise Turkey Meatloaf (2013 Update)

 
Prep Time: 10 minutes. Cooking Time: 60-70 minutes. Serves: 8
meatloaf2013Ingredients:
2 Eggs
1 Cup Dry Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer
1 Tablespoon Minced Onion
2 Teaspoons, Salt
1/4 Teaspoon, Pepper
3 Tablespoons, Ketchup
1 Cup Water
2lbs Lean Ground Turkey
Paprika
 
Directions: Heat oven to 350°. In large mixing bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add remaining ingredients except paprika: mix well. Press meat mixture into 9×5 loaf pan. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle with paprika. Continue baking about 10 minutes for a nice top crust.

In just about an hour, you’ll have a tasty meal that pairs well with potatoes and veggies – a real old-school, American dinner. In this case, we did a basic scalloped red potato side dish with buttered sweet corn and peas:

This is also a recipe that lends itself to experimentation, and I’m tempted to do our 2013 version topped off with cheese like the original version, but with turkey bacon instead. Happy cooking!

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