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There are some things you don't have every year. It isn't a tradition but when you have it you always love it. And so it still is something special despite it being one of the most common.

Everyone has their own recipe. And everyone's recipe is always the best. I didn't actually think my mom's was the best, but that was the case with most meat she cooked. No matter what it was she cooked it until it was dead... and dry. Not so much with my (ex)mother-in-law. I learned a lot from her as she was an excellent cook. And one of the things I loved that she would make every time we went to visit was her meatloaf. Nothing fancy and it uses canned items I don't typically use, but it was so very good.

This was another recipe that I thought was lost forever. Of course you noted I mentioned ex and the ex certainly wouldn't share anything like that with me, and Mary passed a year or two ago and I thought the recipe went with her. However, I must have shared it with my mom because last night it was another recipe I found in the book! Imagine my glee!

So I thought I would share this because Mary was a good mentor to me with cooking and I actually grew quite fond of her after the divorce. I think she would like that I shared it with all of you.

So for the EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS I give to thee, the most non traditional Christmas meal I know of....

MARY'S MEATLOAF (serves 6)


1 package Lipton Onion soup mix

1 egg

1 1/2 to 2 lbs of lean ground meat

dill pickles chopped fine (amount to taste..I use a lot!)

1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/2 cup ketchup

heaping tablespoon of horseradish

1 teaspoon A-1 sauce

garlic salt to taste

1/2 cup soft bread crumbs (old bread, crumbled with your fingers)

1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 can Golden Mushroom Soup

In a large bowl add Lipton soup mix, egg (slightly beaten), beef, pickles and cheese. Set aside

In a small bowl mix together ketchup, horseradish, A-1 and garlic salt. Add to the meat mixture along with the bread crumbs. (you may have to add more bread crumbs to have the right consistency)

Form into a loaf.

Mix together the two canned soups and pour over meatloaf. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 1/2 hours.

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