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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Lopsided Meatballs

Alyssa's wedding is one week from today. One week! This week has been very busy trying to get things ready that I can help with from here. I've made eight corsages, and three bridesmaids bouquets. I bought my dress. I've made meatballs.

I've made and frozen many meatballs. I am still making and freezing many meatballs. Many, many meatballs.

All summer I have felt a little guilty, I bought and planted a bunch of herbs. I planted rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, sage and chives. Then this summer, I never felt like cooking anything. At all. The herbs kept growing and I kept not using them. I felt bad for spending the money, on them and not using them.

 Well, the guilt is gone. I have harvested, washed, picked through and chopped so many herbs the last week that my fingers may be permanently green. I have used just about all of the herbs except the sage and chives. They have paid for themselves many times over now. If I had bought all of the herbs for the meatballs at the store it would have added up very quickly. I probably would have had to use dried herbs just because of the cost.

I have smelled like a walking talking meatball for days! No matter how many times you shower or wash your hands the smell just stays with you. And then of course there is the onions and garlic.

Anyone who knows me, knows I HATE onions. I hate them with a passion. I don't like them cooked, I don't like them raw. I know, and this is the ONLY reason I will ever use them, that they do add flavor to dishes. When I do decided to use them, which is very rarely, there is only one way I can do it, I "slap chop" the hell out of them. I dice them up very, very small with my knife, and then put the tiny dices in my slap chopper, and pulverize them. After that, I must cook them down to nonexistence, or I won't be able to eat them.

So.... that's what I have been doing. Chopping, slapping, mixing, cooking, frying and of course testing meatballs.

Yes, I said frying. I guess there are many thoughts on how to cook a proper meatball. When I was growing up, my mom pan fried her meatballs to brown the outside, and then put them in the sauce to finish cooking. I have always made them that way as well.

I am a big fan of the Food Network. Out of curiosity, I have watched many different shows about making meatballs. Alton Brown says that my way of making meatballs is NOT "Good Eats." He says to bake them. Tyler Florence, says to bake them too. He says, "it's how we  do it in our restaurants." They hold their shape better, they said. You can cook them faster, they said. Valerie, my daughter, said that she had baked them and it worked great. Ok, so I decided to bake them....once. They tasted fine, but they had a weird spongy texture that I did not like. I did not like it at all. Then I started thinking. I have never meant a restaurant meatball that I liked. Never. I mean they aren't awful or anything, well, sometimes, but they are never good. I rarely ever order meatballs when I'm out, even as much as I love them, because they always disappoint. Even as a child, I remember being unhappy with any meatball but my mom's. So..... why would I change that?

Now, my meatballs are not perfectly shaped orbs of meat. Pan frying them leaves them flat on two sides. I fry them on one side for five minutes and them turn them over and fry them on the other side for five minutes. They have two flat sides. But, I can't say that I care. I just want them to taste good. I've been writing this post in five minute intervals. I can fit about sixteen meatballs in my frying pan at a time. I have made approximately 247 so far. That's a lot of five minute intervals.

I may never make meatballs again.......


  1. I have made your meatballs before and LOVE them! This post makes me hungry :)

  2. clearly i won't comment on the MEATballs;) - just a general observation that flavour and texture before flawless looks ALWAYS (not only in food come to think of it!)

    i hope the wedding has been a fine one, now that the "a week later" has happened!

  3. Becky's thoughts on onions:

    "I do not like them in their skins,
    I do not like them sliced so thin.
    I do not like them in a pot,
    I do not like them with pea pods.
    I do not like them sprayed in Pam™,
    I do not like them, Sam I Am!"

    (with apologies to Dr. Seuss and Sam I Am.)