As you may or may not know, I fancy myself something of a Meatloafartiste. That is to say, I take great pride in turning meatloaf and instant mashed potatoes into what I think are veritable works of art. Here are my past creations should you be interested --
Meatloafy the Whale
Onto the matter at hand...
Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings has been synonymous in my mind with the city at large for the past 20 years. Alas, as all things eventually do, his run as the leader of the city in which I was born has come to an end. One of the dominate traits of my personality is that I do not handle change very well and that I am prone to fits of nostalgia. I am already nostalgic for the Jennings era and it hasn't even come to a close yet. So I was thinking of how, in my own small way, I might offer tribute to the man... Maybe even immortalize him!
Of course it didn't take too long to decided on a tribute in loaf form! And on what better day then Election Day to create what I believe is my truest meatloaf masterpiece to date.
I won't get too deep into the methodology of the meatloaf arts as you can read through the past posts for that.
You form it into loafs.
You make a big batch of instant mashed potatoes and in this case add two mashed sweet potatoes to add the wonderful tan hue of Albany Mayor Gerald Jenning's storied skin tone.
You sketch out some stencils to use on the loaf.
You trim those loafs down. I have said it before but I will say it again -- meatloaf trimmings are the best part of being a meatloaf artist.
Apply a thick layer of your mashed potatoes and there you have it! A blank canvas. The old masters worked in fresco, I work in taters!
Then you simply bring life to the loaf with the tools at your disposal. In this case a squirt bottle full of my homemade mushroom ketchup, some black pepper for shading, some mozzarella string cheese to imply Mayor Jenning's glorious hair, some sumac for a nice red tie, and a fresh fall flower to grace his honorable lapel.
There you have it. An honest (yes I know meatloaf portraiture may seem ridiculous, but I really do mean it honestly...) tribute a man who is passing into the long, long history of the fair City of Albany.
Again, this might smack of lampooning or making fun but I am really not going for that. Although I don't live in Albany anymore (I live in Delmar which is really pretty close if you think about it) it is where I was born and spent my childhood. I take the city's constants seriously and for the past 20 years Mayor Jennings certainly has been a constant.
I don't have much access to the city at large outside of this blog... So I offer this small homage to the Honorable Gerald Jennings. I wish him well in all of his future endeavors.