Our kitchen has a plethora of gadgets. I think gadgets may be one of the sole reasons I love cooking (OK, I’m also quite partial to the food that results from my efforts). We have knives, a variety of spatulas and spoons, an egg poacher (I do love my eggs Benedict!!), pastry bags, decorating tips, cookies cutters galore, more pans and mixing bowls than I can shake a wooden spoon at, and exam gloves. Yes, you read that right. I said exam gloves. They are a definite staple kitchen gadget in our home.
As a reformed vegetarian, I’m still not overly eager to touch raw meat, but that isn’t why I wear gloves when prepping some of our food. It is a safety and quick response measure that I adopted after becoming a mom. If I hear a bump, crash, cry, or scream, my first instinct as a mother is to drop what I’m doing and rush to the scene of the drama. The last thing I’m going to do is stop by the sink and carefully wash my hands under hot water with soap for a minimum of 30 seconds while I de-gross my hands. That simply isn’t a mom’s natural instinct. As mothers, we are hardwired to protect and comfort our children. By wearing exam gloves while doing food prep, I can get to our child faster and keep her from getting infested with random germ and bacteria …. Not to mention the heat from any jalapeno peppers I may be chopping. (If you wear contact lenses and like to cook with peppers and chilies, exam gloves are a MUST!)
Our daughter, Annika, recently discovered the joys of dipping food in a sauce. It started out a few weeks ago when we got some take-out Indian food. I showed her how to dip the naan in the butter chicken gravy. (TO DIE FOR!) I demonstrated the art of dipping naan and said “dip, dip, dip” as I did so. Our daughter took a piece of naan and imitated my actions, saying “dippy, dippy, dippy” in a falsetto voice that could shatter crystal. In truth, she said “dippy” once or twice and then proceeded to have tongue thrusts and spit replace various letters each time she said the word. Now, EVERYTHING must be “dippied” in sauce. I made turkey loaf and green beans for dinner a few nights ago and lo and behold! Annika insisted in “dippy, dippy, dippying” her beans and cubes of turkey loaf in the ketchup…. Not to mention a few of her fingers.
DIPPY, DIPPY, DIPPY TURKEY LOAF
2.5 lb ground turkey
1 c. milk
1 c. breadcrumbs (I like the Italian seasoned ones the best)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 (or so) handfuls of diced (small) or shredded cheddar cheese or pepperjack cheese if you like a little "zip"
After donning exam gloves, mix all ingredients (except ketchup) in a dishwasher-safe mixing bowl with either the one or two-hand method. Two hand method: use a hefty wooden spoon. One hand method: use your free hand and squish the ingredients until they’re well mixed.
Transfer meat mixture to a bread pan that has been coated with non-stick baking spray. (if using standard glass pans, you might want to split between two pans. I can fit one loaf in my stoneware bread pan, though.)
Top with as much ketchup as looks good to you …. Which may be none or may be ¼ cup. It’s up to you. I tend to squirt enough on the loaf to cover the majority of the top of the loaf.
If freezing, cover with aluminum foil and freeze. Use within 2 months to avoid freezer burn.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 1 hour (1.5 hours if frozen).