“When I can’t write, I read. When I can’t read, I cook.”
—M.F.K. Fisher

This is a recipe that I cut out years ago from some newspaper. I still have it, yellowed paper and all. It comes from one of my heroes, M.F.K. Fisher. Long before James Beard, Julia Charles, et all, came on the scene, there was  Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, a beautiful statuesque lady who wrote 27 books, mainly on food and travel. My favorite is “How to Cook a Wolf.” No, she  does not give instructions on cooking a wolf. The book was written in 1942, in the midst of World War II when the US was fighting for its live against the Fascists. To aid in the war effort, there was a food rationing program with strict limits on the purchase food basics such as sugar, butter, flour,  coffee, and meat. The book instructs on how to survive on what you have and still cook delicious, nutritious meals. If, as President Eisenhower once said, the war was won by the jeep and spam. The war at home was won by “How to Cook a Wolf.”

This recipe is great for its quickness and convenience. And, yes, the meat loaf cooks in just a mere 15 minutes. Talk about time saving! I’ll leave the last word to Ms. Fisher herself: “This is a far cry from the dry meat loafs we once hoped would taste like a pate de champagne rather than Sunday-in-jail, and it should be eaten soon, preferably with a big salad.”


1½ pound best ground beef
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons chopped green pepper
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 generous teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper

In the morning for use that night or at least 8 hours later, combine all ingredients and mix well. Put into well-oiled baking dish in loaf form; that is, do not pack in but make a small oaf in a large space. Chill.
To serve, bake in a preheated 450º oven on lowest shelf for exactly 10 minutes.
Then place under broiler for exactly 5 minutes. Remove at once; let stand 5 minutes. Serves 4-6.