We've borne nearly two years of presidential campaigning. But after next week, campaign TV ads, speeches, phone calls, and yard signs will evaporate. Yesterday, one political reviewer wondered aloud to her radio audience how she will fill her time. Time? Time to celebrate!
And somewhat more than half of all Americans will be pleased with the election outcome. Which Americans will throw celebratory parties and which will throw commiserating parties is still in suspense. But regardless of outcome, election night in the U.S. is party time!
However, for must of us it's also a work-night, school-night, and in-every-other-way-ordinary Tuesday night. Got to feed the kids and get them to bed. So how will we - the folks on Main Street -celebrate?
A patriotic cake with red, white, and blue frosting always works. But do you have time to make one? We have to make nutritious dinners regardless of current events. So here's an idea for suping up the mainstay of Main Street, that classic of American, middle class tables - the United States of America meat loaf! You all know how to make one, so I won't bother giving a recipe. (In case you want to try a new recipe however, here's a link to a wonderful meatloaf recipe.) So here's how to change meatloaf into an election-party centerpiece.
It's all in the hands. Yes, it's gross, but effective. Mix up your favorite meatloaf recipe. Oil a baking sheet. Put the meat on the sheet then mold it into the shape of the political party that you want to win the election. I thought the molding would be difficult, but it was really easy. I made donkey and elephant-shaped loaves amazingly fast. Raw meat is a surprisingly easy medium to sculpt in. Really, you can shape these in no time.
To keep the appendages from over-cooking, I covered them with foil. I baked them without sauce on top because I didn't want the elephant and donkey to look bloody. After cooking and picture-taking, then I put on the kids' favorite meatloaf sauce, Cranberry Topping.
While the meatloaf baked, I made mashed potatoes and broccoli spears. These were for making the White House. Again, use your hands to form the mashed potatoes into the White House shape. (Mashed potatoes, being slightly sticky, are a bit more resistant to sculpting than meatloaf, but still workable and you're kids will think it's cool.) The bonus comes from the broccoli shrubbery. Kids are much more willing to eat broccoli if they think it's inedible trees and bushes.
All in all, our election-party meatloaf was a grand success. These meatloaves were not only nutritious, but they prompted a dinner-table discussion of two-party politics in the U.S. Something 5-year olds and 9-year-olds don't usually chat about.
So make your election-night easy and fun with patriotic meat loaf!
Here are some more great party food ideas from Wisconsin:
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