Fare Exchange: Recipes for a priceless pound cake and a much-requested meatloaf to try

Welcome to Fare Exchange, indispensable readers.

Janet Gilley found you, and now asks you to find a recipe for her. "I was googling some recipes and I saw your email. Do you have the tomato basil salad dressing used at the Brick Oven restaurant, on Highway 153 where Rib & Loin is now?" (Or, more accurately, "where Rib & Loin was," as the Hixson location closed last year.) She was also seeking Mount Vernon's sweet celery dressing, but it was right there in a recent Exchange.

(READ MORE: Restaurant Scene: What is barbecue in Chattanooga? It's a little bit of everything!)

Claude R. asks for "recipes for fresh artichokes, recipes of all kinds including fried whole artichokes and globe artichokes where you eat their leaves and heart."


Now we enter the space of recipes, often those that evoke memories ... or memories that carry recipes within them. Linda Green Johnson wrote from her Dunlap, Tennessee, home, sending "sweet memories of Mama's pound cake. "This simple six-ingredient cake was the golden crown jewel of my Mama's table. She always had something sweet for my Daddy's supper when I was growing up, and more often than not it was this pound cake. Sometimes it was eaten right out of your hand for a snack, but after dinner it was served in a little bowl with canned peaches on top. Our Easter meal was a special treat with pound cake covered with fresh strawberries that had been macerated with sugar and then topped with homemade whipped cream. As a child who took her lunch to school, I fondly remember asking for two slices of pound cake to go into my brown bag. I could swap that extra piece for just about anything someone else had."

Mama's Pound Cake

2 sticks butter

Nearly 1 cup Crisco

2 cups sugar

6 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Cream butter, Crisco and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add vanilla extract. Slowly add flour, and mix well. Pour into a large greased and floured tube pan. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 1 hour. Turn and bake 10 minutes more.


Tim Threadgill speaks from the family fund of his own kin.

"My family and I were early adopters of Home & Garden as well as Food TV as it expanded back in the late '90s and early '00s. We even appeared on an early HGTV show titled 'Designer's Challenge,' where we had our master bathroom redone.

"My wife and I have always cooked and had used those annual Cooking Light cookbooks in particular to help lighten up familiar dishes in an attempt to help watch the calories, but nothing too imaginative. Food TV broadened our horizons, and our son's love for the shows, as well as living in diverse food environment like Los Angeles, caused us to stretch a bit.

"One of our favorite early Food Network shows was a version of 'Beat Bobby Flay' where he went to various communities and challenged local chefs and cooks and their signature dishes, to determine if he could outdo them. It was judged by folks from their local community. In a now-forgotten community, Bobby challenged a chef's beloved meatloaf with the recipe that follows. Even though Bobby's was judged by the locals to be good but not as good as the favorite, we believed they were in error. This recipe was the first Food Network recipe I made or we ever tried. Once our eyes unglazed after trying it, we knew we would never go back to a traditional version. My wife has since proclaimed I have 'ruined' her for all other meatloaf.

(READ MORE: Chattanooga chef beats Food Network's Bobby Flay)

"Not long after we moved to Chattanooga, we joined a small group of a church and chose to help provide food to one of our members recovering at home by taking this meatloaf to them. It was quickly circulated in the group that I was some sort of kitchen magician because of this meatloaf and the sides, and I was required to provide it for our next potluck. Other dear friends have enjoyed and demanded it on special occasions as well. We have so very many great memories with our loved ones as a result of it and treasure it more now for that than its exceptional flavor and presentation.

"I usually serve it with oven-roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts roasted in olive oil, salt and pepper, then tossed with a little butter and Parmesan, as well as a crusty bread. If wine is desired, a pleasant pinot noir or Cotes du Rhone balances the flavors of the meatloaf a little better than a Cabernet."

Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf With Balsamic Glaze

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large zucchini, finely diced

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

1 yellow pepper, finely diced

1 yellow onion, finely diced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 pound ground veal

1 pound ground beef chuck

1 cup panko (Japanese) bread crumbs

1/2 cup freshly grated Romano

1 1/2 cups ketchup, divided

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the zucchini, peppers, onion and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until almost soft, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the red pepper flakes, and cook for 30 seconds. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the eggs and herbs in a large bowl. Add the meat, bread crumbs, cheese, 1/2 cup of the ketchup and 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar and the vegetables. Mix until just combined. Mold the meatloaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Whisk together the remaining ketchup and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl, then brush the mixture over the entire loaf. Bake the meatloaf for approximately 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove from the oven, and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Now that we are rounding the February corner to March, with spring breaks and at the very end, Easter, new chapters open in the cookbooks of our lives. Please send us what you are cooking and also how you are thinking about food, cooking, and celebrating around the table. You are teaching all who read, including always the one who types your words.


Fare Exchange is a longtime meeting place for people who love to cook and love to eat. We welcome both your recipes and your requests. Be sure to include precise instructions for every recipe you send, and know we cannot test the recipes printed here.

Mailing address: Jane Henegar, 913 Mount Olive Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

Email: chattfare@gmail.com

photo Jane Henegar

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