Looking Out My Back Door – April 27, 2014

We got much needed rain yesterday and in the wee hours of this morning.  Looking out the window into the morning light, the rain drops were visible clinging to the branches and rhododendron blossoms.

Rainy Morning

Rainy Morning

Only a day earlier I had noticed violets were popping up all over the lawn…another sign that spring truly had arrived.

Violets

Violets

Easter Sunday had been beautiful.  I made the traditional Easter Meatloaf, otherwise known as Polinina in Slovak.  This is the only time of the year that I make it, and it just wouldn’t be Easter without it.    The aroma of it baking is heaven to me.

Polinina Just Out of the Oven

Polinina Just Out of the Oven

It’s really simple to make.  But getting it out of the pan in one piece is a little tricky.  I have the  same deep, aluminum, round pan that my mother used.  After some earlier failed attempts at removing it from the pan my mother figured out that cutting a piece of aluminum foil to fit the inside of the pan helped to prevent catastrophe.  She oiled the inside of the pan, placed the piece of aluminum in  the pan and oiled that sheet of foil as well.  The picture below shows the foil being carefully pulled back after the  polinina has been removed from the pan.

Polinina

3 lbs. lean ground pork
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs (I use Italian seasoned)
3 teaspoons salt
10-12 eggs
1/4 cup of fresh parlsley finely chopped
3 crushed cloves of garlic

Preheat over to 425.  Mix all of the above well using 10 eggs.  If the mixture is stiff or heavy, add another egg and maybe another.  I’ve used as many as 13 eggs to get the mixture to the right light consistency. (Note: Over the years my mother cut back on the salt to 1 or 2 teaspoons but I think it really needs 1 teaspoon per pound of meat.  Also, the original recipe called for less parsley but I think 1/4 cup is perfect).

Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours.  The original recipe calls for 1 and 1/4 hours but I’ve had the center of the huge meatloaf still a little pink at times, so I added another 15 minutes on.  The outside will be a dark mahogany color.  If there is any fat visible in the pan, try to drain it off as it will be reabsorbed into the meatloaf if you don’t.  Use a knife to make sure the meatloaf is released from the sides, place a plate over the meatloaf and turn upside down to release.  Pull off the foil and position right side up to cool.

Of course, you can always cut this recipe back and use only one pound of ground pork and reduce the other ingredients proportionately.  It won’t take so long to bake either!

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Back when I was a kid, our Easter meal was a cold brunch comprised of polinina, ham and smoked kielbasa cut into bite sized cubes, boiled eggs, dilled bean salad, cirek (which is a Slovak Easter cheese which few really liked and it’s since fallen off the brunch list) and assorted other salads.  Of course, there was horseradish and a variety of really good bread.

This year my daughter did her own spin on side salads, all of which were delicious….especially that pickled cucumber salad with sesame seeds.  I added a saffron rice and shrimp salad with fresh dill.  It starts with a package or two of Carolina brand yellow (saffron) rice cooked according to package directions.  Once cooked, let it cool some.  Mix in about a tablespoon of bottled Italian dressing to make sure the rice doesn’t stick together and then add a couple tablespoons of mayonnaise.  I always add some peas (actually I toss some frozen peas on top of the rice just before I take it off the heat and keep the pot covered for at least 10 minutes…that’s enough to cook the peas as you don’t want them mushy).  Diced pimentos and scallions are always added as well as cooked shrimp and plenty of finely chopped fresh dill.  What ever other veggies you add is up to you.  Broccoli and/or cauliflower florets go well.  Taste it and see if it needs more mayo.  This salad is great for leftovers the next day. 

Shrimp and Saffron Rice Salad with Dill

Shrimp and Saffron Rice Salad with Dill

The spring cleanup is still progressing out in the yard.  And no sign of the hummingbird yet although the feeder has been in place for several days now.

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One thought on “Looking Out My Back Door – April 27, 2014

  1. KerryCan

    Now, that’s a meatloaf! It looks so yummy and so does your shrimp and rice salad–we’re dieting a little (to offset the candy) and this post is taunting me with lovely images! I’m glad you had such a nice holiday!

    Reply

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