Remember the song “On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese I lost my poor Meatball when somebody sneezed.”………………………. OK I can’t believe I just printed that in a post LOL but I thought I’d share with you my story of Lost Meatballs! When I was first married we would to go to Brooklyn early on Sunday mornings so I could watch my Mother in Law prepare the Sunday Gravy. My Husbands family lived in Brooklyn and they called their Tomato Sauce, Gravy. On Sundays the Family would all get together for Sunday Dinner at 2PM that would last for hours. There was always lively conversations, lots of food, and always room for anybody that might stop by. I will always remember my first Sunday Dinner in Brooklyn with the funniest thing being watching everyone at the table talk at the same time. It was hilarious as I think I was the only one listening and there were about 16 of us at the table!
My Mother in Law was a great cook and even a better teacher. I will always treasure the time we spent cooking together as with all her technique for her recipes, she sprinkled in stories of the Family so I would get to know their background and traditions. One of my first lessons was on meatballs. She used a stainless steel pot to mix her meatballs in and always started by grating hard bread right in to the pot as the base. She always said it should come up about 2 inches on the side as she was using 3lbs of chop meat which was added next. Then went in the seasonings Salt, Pepper, Fresh garlic, Fresh Parsley, Cheese and 6 Eggs and a dash of milk. Mix all the ingredients together being careful not to overwork the meat, (mixing too much) and then roll into golf ball size meatballs. She would fry her spareribs and sausage first, followed by the meatballs. The house always smelled so good on Sunday mornings and family would start arriving by noon all looking for Grandma Rae’s fried meatballs. She would keep out a bowlful and put the rest in the Gravy. She always said cook your sausage and spareribs in the Gravy for an hour and then add the Meatballs and cook another hour.
One Sunday I invited my Brother in law Red over for Sunday Macaroni and Meatballs. I had watched my Mother-in-Law so many times and now I was ready for the real deal! The big day came and I started with the Breadcrumbs as she did and then proceeded with all my ingredients and then went to mix. It seemed too wet so I kept adding breadcrumbs till it was dry enough and the meat would stay together. After they were fried I added them to the Gravy and then set the table. As time was passing I decided to look and stir the pot and boy did they look good. After another 1/2 hour I went to stir the pot and my meatballs were gone! There was no sign of them bubbling in the tomato sauce. I quickly put it my spoon and realized to my horror they were on the bottom of the pot and had stuck and now were burning. I tried to get them loose which made matters worse as chunks of black burnt meatballs started floating everywhere. Now I’m totally frustrated and embarrassed that I had just ruined Dinner when the doorbell rang and there was Red arriving for Dinner. I quickly took the whole pot and put it in the refrigerator and told my Husband who had been inside getting ready, we were going out to Dinner as everything was ruined and not to say a word to Red.We would keep this little disaster to ourselves and then share it with him some other time. So Red comes in with a great bottle of wine and says boy it smells great in here. He sees the table set and says I’m starved, shall I open the wine. Well I look at him cool as a cucumber and said there’s a change of plans and were going out. He says but it smells so good in here. So I replied that was from last night, and I was too tired to cook today so we would be taking him out. I went to get my coat in the bedroom and Red yelled out could I grab a soda out of the Fridge before we leave, and I yelled back sure I’ll be right there. As soon as I said it I realized the pot in the Fridge and ran to the kitchen and there was Red standing there with his glasses fogged as when he opened the door there was so much steam from the pot it was ridiculous. I took one look at him and laughed so hard. All my embarrassment was was gone as it was hysterical seeing him look at me like what just happened. Of course we all started laughing and I explained. We had concluded I had used only one pound of meat but I had added 6 eggs as if I had used 3lbs of meat like my Mother-in-law did each week. I realized that’s why I had to add so much breadcrumbs and eventually they were more like bread balls that sunk in this big pot. Needless to say, I still smile from time to time when making meatballs recalling that memorable day!
Welcome to Britalia Way! Thanks for stopping by. Please join me as I share with you a series about food, people and experiences that are special to me. English and Italian traditions are so enticing and were the inspiration for creating Britalia Way!
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