By Pete Schwartz -

It has recently come to my attention, that meat loaf pans have gone through quite a long period without proper recognition. This may because of the disposable nature of the piece, or perhaps its unsightly condition after use. Many meat loafers apt for a more permanent and solid article of cooking apparel. Although, these items are recommended by me, I would also not want the consumer to overlook the majestic characteristics of our common meat loaf pan.

some years ago, my mother suggested that I create meat loaf to sustain my unbridled longing for meat. At the time I was in college and living in my first apartment. The idea of creating a dish such as meat loaf seemed to me an insurmountable task. Yet, my longing for cooking independence sufficed for giving it a shot. I acquired a modest recipe from a roommate's cook book. It included your ground meat, bread crumbs, onions etc. Yet, the ingredient that puzzled me most was the one that would give my meaty combine its loafy shape; the pan.

Upon reaching the grocery store and filling my cart with all the ingredients of my soon to be created creation. I stumbled by the aisle which held my most puzzling ingredient. Most of these silver-tin containers came in batches of three or four. No singles. I grabbed the stack that looked most capable of holding my meaty concoction.

When I returned home I began the process of combining ingredients. At the time it seemed like I used way too many breadcrumbs and far too much onion. I was wrong only about the former. On completion of my mixing, I placed this stinky wad into one of my newly acquired pans. 375 degrees and 50 minutes later I had meat loaf. Delicious. It took me approximately one week to finish my loaf. On completion I was faced with a dilemma: reuse or dispose of the pan. The pan was caked with grease and other assorted meat loaf residue and badly mishaped from removing slices throughout the week.

I pitched the pan. I figured I saved myself some soap, water, time, labor, and space in the tiniest of kitchens. At the time it seemed like a good choice. Yet 3 meatloaves later I was panless. I returned to the supermarket, only to find it without any pans. I panicked. My newly acquired meatloaf habit had been thwarted by the negligent inventory practices of a grocery store (that will remain nameless, unless in case you already had your own blight with Kroger).

I guess there really is no point or general truth to be derived from my ordeal. I was just a young man trapped with no pans and it felt really bad.

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