The cabbage on the bottom was okay but didn’t add much distinctive flavor. The cabbage on the top burned—I don’t know if that was my toaster oven or if my timing was off or what went wrong.
The meatloaf in the middle was good though, and I eventually scraped all the cabbage off and used the meat for sandwiches. It was the most basic meatloaf recipe ever: one half pound each ground beef and pork, ½ c. milk, ½ c. rice, and a medium onion (measurements are approximate because, not thinking ahead, I didn’t keep the recipe and couldn’t find the exact same one online). You can find several versions of kalpudding online if you want to try it despite my negative experience. Rice is not something I keep on hand, so I substituted panko, the Japanese bread crumbs made without bread crusts.
The point about the meatloaf is that the ground pork gives it a different, denser texture than my usual all-beef meatloaf. My mom used to mix pork and beef, and I liked it—this reminded me of Mom’s dinners. Or maybe the bread crumbs did that.
My advice summarized: forget the cabbage and substitute a bit of pork for some of the beef in your next meatloaf. Rice or bread crumbs? Which you usually use and like. Just keep it in proportion. One of my sons never liked my meatloaf because he claimed I got too much filler and not enough meat. I don’t suppose it occurred to him that I was watching the budget and stretching the meat.
My warning: without meaning to I bought panko seasoned with herbs and garlic. It worked fine in the meatloaf, but a few days later I made salmon croquettes and, being lazy, again used the panko. My mom told me once never to use anything but ground saltines with croquettes, and Mom always knows best. With the panko, I ended up with salmon hash. Tasted fine but was not pretty to look at. Read labels carefully.
Essentially the same thing happened to me with butter. I prefer Kerrygold, the Irish full-fat butter that gives everything a better flavor and is generally GMO-free. So recently, I unwrapped a new stick of butter and to my horror, it had mold—little green flecks all through it. Closer inspection revealed that it was not mold but seasoned butter—herbs and garlic again. Great for garlic bread, not so much for my cookie dough. Again, the moral: read labels carefully. I prefer to do my own seasoning, thank you very much. (And I keep butter in the freezer, so it won’t go rancid if I don’t use promptly—keep one stick in the fridge to be soft enough for quick use. I also avoid whipped butter—don’t need that air beaten into it, nor the extra moisture which throws many recipes off). And we won't even talk about margarine, which is a chemical product no part of which has ever been near acow.
So with my negativity about kalpudding and pre-seasoned products, here’s a positive: the best vinaigrette I’ve ever made. I stole the recipe from a novel—The Last Chance Olive Ranch, by Susan Wittig Albert. It’s called Sofia’s salad dressing:
Whip together ½ c fresh lemon juice, ½ c olive oil, 1 Tbsp salt (yes, that’s right!), and three garlic cloves minced. No, it doesn’t taste salty. I don’t know chemistry of what the salt does for the mixture, but it is delicious. Do not substitute for the fresh lemon juice.
Be sure to put croutons in the salad—soaked in this dressing, they are beyond delicious. Even here, though, there's a warning--leftover dressing gets too salty. Maybe cut the recipe in half.