Author Topic: Crackers, hamburg and poverty  (Read 4430 times)

BTDretire

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Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« on: May 21, 2016, 01:10:51 PM »
Growing up, my family was on the lower income side.
My mother would make meatloaf, she crumbled up saltine crackers
and added it to the hamburg.
 Is that a normalthing you do when making meat loaf, or was that what my mother
did to stretch the hamburg?
 Just wanting to know, how poor were we?  :-)

ohana

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 01:13:23 PM »
I think the common recipe would be mixing meat with bread or bread crumbs, but saltines would work just as well.  Not sure it's a measure of wealth or poverty; my middle class mom cooked with saltines as well, but only because she was a pretty mediocre cook, not because she didn't have other option.

CopperTex

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2016, 01:24:34 PM »
I have been making this recipe for years that uses saltine crackers: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/25203/brown-sugar-meatloaf/

I have tried bread crumbs but prefer the saltines. It's a common ingredient in meatloaf.

neophyte

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2016, 01:50:50 PM »
Yep breadcrumbs and/or saltines are a normal ingredient in meatloaf.  I think they help bind everything together. I grew up in an arguably upper-middle class family and my mom made meatloaf the same way.

Janie

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2016, 01:51:03 PM »
normal

MrsPete

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2016, 02:02:11 PM »
You need some type of grain in a meatloaf; yeah, it does stretch the meat a bit, but the real reason is that it (plus the eggs) act as a binder and hold the mixture together so it can be sliced /not just fall apart when it's cut. 

Personally, I usually use a big handful of oatmeal, but if I have a bunch of bread going bad I'll run it through the food processor and make a bunch of crumbs.  If I use bread crumbs, I often add milk to them -- makes the meat loaf a bit more moist.  Stuffing mix'll work.  I'm also quite partial to barley, but I'd only use it for half the grain in a meatloaf -- a little can go a long way.  Really, any grain. 

Cranky

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2016, 04:18:10 PM »
Meatloaf typically involves breadcrumbs, but cracker crumbs are fine. I currently use a bargain box of stuffing cubes, which are pretty much the same thing. That's cooking, not poverty.

Kaybee

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2016, 07:03:40 PM »
I've used crushed crackers, oatmeal, bread crumbs, rice (Porcupine meatballs!)...I've seen them all used to both stretch the meat and help bind it together.

Any other poverty flags you want us to debunk? ;)

thd7t

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2016, 07:13:53 PM »
Crackers or cornflakes are pretty normal.

ltt

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2016, 08:14:37 PM »
Very normal, nothing to do with being poor.  That was/is the standard recipe.

MsPeacock

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2016, 07:28:21 AM »
I add oatmeal, eggs, onions, cheese, ketchup, etc. Meatloaf is dry and flavorless without those additions.

BTDretire

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2016, 07:34:14 AM »
Growing up, my family was on the lower income side.
My mother would make meatloaf, she crumbled up saltine crackers
and added it to the hamburg.
 Is that a normalthing you do when making meat loaf, or was that what my mother
did to stretch the hamburg?
 Just wanting to know, how poor were we?  :-)

  Thanks all, it was a curiousity on my part, never thought much about it until
recently while reading one of the threads here. It's been 40 years since I had any
of her meatloaf.

Ann

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2016, 03:14:14 AM »
I'm curious where OP is from.  I've never heard ground beef referred to as "hamburg."  I've always heard, well, ground beef or hamburger.  I'm from the southern US.  I did a very cursory Google search and it seem "hamburg" is more common in the Boston area (for one).

slappy

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2016, 05:43:37 AM »
I'm curious where OP is from.  I've never heard ground beef referred to as "hamburg."  I've always heard, well, ground beef or hamburger.  I'm from the southern US.  I did a very cursory Google search and it seem "hamburg" is more common in the Boston area (for one).

I'm from southern NH (fairly close to Boston), and we do call it hamburg around here. :)

Capsu78

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2016, 08:11:50 AM »
As an owner of a shelf full of vintage cookbooks, it would not surprise me in the least if she got the recipe...off the side of a Saltines box!

infogoon

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Re: Crackers, hamburg and poverty
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2016, 08:19:53 AM »
I've used crumbled crackers, bread crumbs, corn flakes; like everyone else said, it's to bind it together.

Fun fact: if you use that kid's ketchup that's dyed a wild color, your meatloaf may look a bit odd. This stuff makes it look like brain matter.