The night that newspaper columnist Pauline Phillips died, my mom sent me an email: I am making meatloaf in honor of Dear Abby.
What she meant was that she was making Ann Landers’ meatloaf. Phillips was better known as Dear Abby, and Ann Landers (real name: Eppie Lederer) was her twin — something that did not prevent a fierce competition between the two advice columnists.
Landers made a mean meatloaf, the recipe for which she printed several times in her column over several decades. My mom got it from a friend who saved a copy the last time it was published.
As an aside, Landers died in 2002, which was the year Dear Abby’s daughter took over her column. Phillips was 94 when she died Jan. 16.
And so, on the night that Dear Abby died, my mom made her sister’s meatloaf in her honor.
She made it again last weekend when she was visiting me. We were having nine for dinner: Me, my mom, G., my stepsister and her family, and a couple of friends. That also was the night of our pie party, so we needed a relatively simple dinner that we could get on the table and clean up before all the guests arrived. Meatloaf, baked potatoes and a salad that my friend brought were just the ticket.
G. was in heaven. I don’t cook a lot of beef, so he looks forward to my mom’s visits, and her meatloaf — Ann Landers’ meatloaf — is a favorite. He had two helpings, which distressed me a little because I knew we were all about to consume an obscene amount of pie.
G. came through it OK but swears he is going to start cutting back.
In getting ready for the dinner, I realized I hadn’t ever posted the recipe on this blog, which has become my go-to way for saving recipes because I can search for them by keyword. Otherwise, I have to sort through bins of paper copies, which greatly reduces the chances that I’ll find what I’m looking for.
I’m posting the recipe now for the next time I want it, which may be when I’ll be able to get a photograph. The meatloaf we made last weekend was eaten before I even thought about taking its picture.
Ann Landers’ Meatloaf
2 pounds ground round beef
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
3/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Accent seasoning
1/2 cup warm water
1 package Lipton dry onion soup mix
8 ounces tomato sauce
Mix all the ingredients together except the tomato sauce, and shape the meat into a loaf. Put the loaf in a baking pan, and top it with the tomato sauce.
If you want, you can lay a couple of pieces of bacon over the loaf first, and then pour on the tomato sauce. My mom does that.
Bake the meatloaf at 350 degrees for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.