By any other name it’s still meatloaf

Celebrated Library of Congress poet laureate Donald Hall, who lived at Eagle Pond Farm in New Hampshire, once remarked that on his birthday every year he got to choose the menu: meatloaf, corn niblets, rice and chocolate cake.

Come to Monday Munch at the Charlotte Senior Center and you won’t have to wait until your birthday for meat loaf and chocolate cake.

Monday Munch, May 22
11:30-12:30, or until the food is gone
Meatloaf, new potatoes, green beans and chocolate cake.

Meatloaf has worldwide appeal. Called faschierter Braten in Austria, Maṅśer lof in Bangladesh, vleesbrod in Belgium, rulo stefani in Bulgaria and sekaná. in Czechoslovakia, where they put pickled gherkins in the middle.

It sounds like the lyrics for a song:
Put some gherkin in your sekaná
And then you won’t need the banana.

If you follow David Tanis’ plan for the Italian polpettone in NY Times Cooking, you’ll need ground veal and pork along with the beef, prosciutto, parmesan, provolone, spinach and lots of spices.

In the 1870s, the first recorded recipe for the modern American meatloaf added salt, pepper, onion, egg and milk-soaked bread to chopped beef. The resulting meatloaf was regarded as something to eat for breakfast.

Betty Crocker’s 1958 book, “365 Ways to Cook Hamburger,” included 70 recipes for meatloaf. Some of the suggestions found there require quite a stretch, including smashed bananas and ketchup-filled peach halves.

Not to second-guess the ingredients of Monday Munch Meatloaf at the Charlotte Senior Center, but it seems safe to predict it will not include bananas or peach halves.

Enjoy the meatloaf and be sure to save room for the chocolate cake.

Surprisingly, the “Escoffier Cook Book” has only one entry for chocolate: chocolate sauce. That’s it.

Renowned pastry chef and chocolatier Jacques Torres made chocolate soup for Julia Child on her PBS cooking show. To make this, besides chocolate, you’ll need bananas and rum. Watch it here.

Child goes light on chocolate in her famous cookbooks, offering recipes for two chocolate cakes, one mousse and a sauce for ice cream.

Dom Deluise’s “Eat This … It’ll Make You Feel Better” has three chocolate cake recipes.

“The Fanny Farmer Cookbook” offers chocolate recipes for 14 cakes, eight cookies, five fudges and several puddings.

From the sublime to the inedible, Hostess introduced Ding Dongs in 1967.

On your way to good eating at the Charlotte Senior Center, put a little bounce in your step with Sammy Davis Jr.’s “The Candy Man,” featured in the 1971 musical “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory.” Satisfy your musical sweet tooth.

Then put some bounce in a Charlotte child’s life by donating a copy of Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” — or any other book — to the Little Free Library for kids, located in front of the Charlotte Grange.

Monday, March 29
The Charlotte Senior Center is closed for Memorial Day.