I am going to venture a guess that the last time I had meatloaf was at my sister's house, since it is one of her two specialities (the other being pork chops with applesauce). But the last time I had my mother's meatloaf, God only knows. High school maybe? I never order meatloaf in restaurants because it just seems too heavy, and I always envision it arriving on the plate like a slab of concrete, gray, hard, and ready to sit like a ton of bricks in your stomach. My mother's meatloaf, in contrast...so flavorful and moist and juicy. So juicy, I had to drain off the juices a few times. Nothing related to a slab of concrete in the least.
I guess the typical topping for meatloaf is the traditional ketchup, but I thought I would add caramelized onions, mainly because I had seen Giada DeLaurentiis caramelize onions for an appetizer on "Everyday Italian" last week. She put 3 medium onions in a pan and let them saute for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or so the recipe said when I looked it up online. Well, I must have missed the part about "incredibly low heat" because my onions were caramelized, or rather charred about 35 minutes in. Still delicious but I did not achieve the sugary, almost jam-like goodness that Giada described on the show. Lesson learned. Low heat. I get it.
So I added about a 1/4 cup of my "caramelized" onions to the meatloaf mixture and then I topped the loaf with the onions about 5 minutes before I took it out of the oven. I have to say they were a great addition, and they made me think you could really modify meatloaf a thousand ways. Who knew? And the best part: my extremely skeptical husband who said he would absolutely not even taste the meatloaf, actually did and admitted that he liked it. My work here is done.