Monday, February 25, 2008
Do not be fooled by the meatloaf's unassuming stature within the annals of America's gastric history. That sculpted brick of substandard beef and kitchen flotsam is coated not only in ketchup, but also in glory. As with the breadcrumbs holding it together, meatloaf binds us as a people. Lawrence's Committee of the Loaf recognizes this fat-dripping greatness and is aiming to spread the good loaf's gospel far and wide with the first annual Great Lawrence Loaf Off. Everyone in the community is invited to bring their own take on meatloaf to compete for prizes in several different categories, including "Best In Show," "Best Secret Ingredient," and "Most Loaf Like." There's no entry fee or application process, just bring your meaty wares on judgment day. Those not competing are encouraged to bring a side dish and/or a $2 contribution, which will be donated to a local charity, and are also encouraged to chow down. Fitting in with the meat theme, the Loaf Off will be hosted by total ham Tim vonHolten. Committee of the Loaf members Natalie Dye, Christina Hoxie, Steph Mott and John Reeves joined us to discuss all things loaf.
lawrence.com: What's the Great Lawrence Loaf Off and how many "pinching" jokes have been made thus far?
Natalie Dye: A lot.
John Reeves: What ever could you mean?
Steph Mott: The Victor Continental Show cast and crew, for the last three years after the Victor show, have gotten together the Sunday after the performance and had a loaf off. One of my best friends was in the show and was one of the loaf judges. We all were shooting the shit one day and decided that all of Lawrence needed to participate. Thus, it's not the first loaf off ever, but it's the first public loaf off.
Christina Hoxie: It's an event that seemed to want to take on a life of its own. Separately, Natalie and I were having a spirited but friendly discussion a while ago about who could make the best meatloaf, and it was decided that this must occur sooner or later. Everyone was thinking about it.
John: There is a meatloaf zeitgeist.
- Sunday, March 2, 2008, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- 4-1-1 Studio, 411 E. Ninth, Lawrence
- All ages / $2
You're riding the cusp of that meat wave. Do you think it's in our collective unconscious because it's such a piece of Americana?
Christina: It's such a traditional thing. It's like chili or lasagna, where people have their special recipe or secret.
Steph: Yeah, the family recipe.
Natalie: And it's so cold out in the winter that it's seasonally appropriate.
A nice steaming loaf to warm everyone's cockles.
Christina: And when it comes time for spring cleaning, whatever is left in the kitchen can go into a meatloaf. It's a poor man's food. My mom could make a meatloaf out of anything, and it would be great. It's a loving concoction for the family.
Steph: It can be traditional, but it can also be creative. I just got my recipe figured out today and it will be excellent (taps her fingers together like Mr. Burns from "The Simpsons").
Does the 411 art space usually host such pot lucks, or "pot loafs"?
Christina: This is the first time they've hosted the culinary arts.
Which will be severely clogged by the end of the event. How did the Committee of the Loaf first form?
Steph: We regularly get together to kill animals and eat them, then decided to just turn it into a competition. There's some real meat in our relationship.
What criteria will you be using for the loaf off?
Steph: It must be a loaf, and it must be meat. It had to come from a living animal. Mmmm...heart attacks...
Christina: No vegetarian loaves this year. We're starting out as purists, but it's up for debate in the coming years.
Natalie: You shouldn't compromise. If you're going to have a meatloaf event, the first one should be all meat.
John: There might be a meat shortage in Lawrence the next day. Â»