|Written By Recipe Coordinator|
February 6th is the 100th centennial of Ronald Wilson Reagan's birthday. Ronald Reagan was born on February 6th,1911 in the small Illinois town of Tampico, Illinois. His father, Jack Reagan, was a travelling salesman who suffered from the ravages of alcoholism. His mother, Nelle Reagan, was a homemaker steeped in religious faith and doing well for others. The family was poor and moved many times during Reagan's boyhood. The Reagan’s eventually settled in Dixon, Illinois. It was in Dixon that Ronald Reagan thrived and became a fixture in the community and at Dixon High School and later at Eureka College.
The Reagan’s had lived above the H.C. Pitney Variety Store in Tampico,Illinois but were forced to move to Dixon after the store closed. They had moved at least 10 times and never did own a home. Jack Reagan continuously lost jobs due to his alcohol problem. The onset of the Great Depression made it even more difficult to find work and they were extremely poor. In a wonderful book on Ronald Reagan entitled Hand of Providence, author Mary Beth Brown details the amazing faith and positive attitude that Reagan’s mother Nelle exhibited throughout these difficult years. They always had trouble paying the rent but Nelle Reagan always said the Lord would provide. This unceasing optimism and faith can be found in Ronald Reagan’s life as well. Nelle Reagan gave her son Ronald a concrete foundation in faith, manners, and the belief in the goodness of everyday people.
One of Ronald Reagan’s favorite meals was invented by his mother during the hard times of the Great Depression. The recipe was called “oatmeal meat.” This recipe was simple but had a profound effect on the future president. Years later he would recall his mother making this recipe and how he thought it was a luxury every time they ate of this meal. Nelle would use hamburger and mix it with oatmeal. She then would fry it and then make a batch of gravy from the the meat. This method would allow the meat to last much longer and also provide a filling, warm sustenance for her husband and two sons. Ronald Reagan said they always had enough to eat and even had enough left over to help other families in need as well.
The early, hardscrabble years of Ronald Reagan are not usually discussed. They had a great impact on his character and development as a man. I find these stories about Ronald Reagan and his mother Nelle unbelievably fascinating. She was quite a woman. Although I could not find the exact recipe that Nelle Reagan used, I found a recipe at Quaker Oats that probably will suffice. I love oatmeal. My wife and I have oatmeal at least once a week. Oatmeal actually works to help lower LDL "bad" cholesterol without lowering the good cholesterol your body needs. Oats have a high proportion of soluble fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol to lower the risk of heart disease. Experts believe that it's the soluble fiber found in oats that helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. Oatmeal is high in fiber and an excellent source of protein and nutrients. I am sure Nelle Reagan must have known this. Ronald Reagan lived to be 93 years old, the longest lived president in American history surpassing President John Adams.
Foodcreate.com celebrates the life and birthday of Ronald Reagan. The great communicator would have been 100 years old today. This oatmeal recipe by Quaker Oats is outstanding. It is simple yet hearty. Oatmeal and meatloaf seem to just go together so well. Honor our late president and make up a batch tonight with a good helping of mashed potatoes. An All-American recipe for sure. Happy birthday Mr. President!
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
3/4 cup Quaker® Oats(quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup catsup
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Heat oven to 350*F.
2. Combine all ingredients in large bowl; mix lightly but thoroughly.
3. Shape meatloaf mixture into 10x6-inch loaf on rack of broiler pan.
4. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until meatloaf is to medium doneness (160*F for beef, 170*F for turkey), until not pink in center and juices show no pink color.
5. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers promptly and use within 2 days, or wrap airtight and freeze up to 3 months.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Recipe and photo courtesy of the Quaker Oats Company.
Reagan information used courtesy of:
Brown, Math Beth, Hand Of Providence : The Strong and Quiet Faith of Ronald Reagan. Washington, D.C.: WND Books, 2004.