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!
I Love City Dogs!
When I’m in New York, I always take pictures of them and usually get the owners feet as well. It’s so cute to see the outfits and expressions on their faces. As I said in one of my earlier posts, their owners talk to them as children. I understand this as I talk to my Sheltie Dylan all the time. They set up play dates for them, take them to Doggie Day Care, as well as have walkers come to their apartments while they’re at work. The number of specialty stores that carry homemade treats, organic food, designer outer ware and toys is incredible. In some areas there is one on practically every street. It is so sweet to see how the dog owners meet up in the Park and discuss everything from training,day cares and yes even therapy! LOL! Most restaurants that have outdoor seating, all have water for the dogs as well. I was so surprised at how many stores allow dogs even full size in Department Stores. I’m talking about Saks Fifth Ave and Bergdorf Goodman! Have you ever heard that statement that some owners resemble their Dogs.. Of course in my Family nobody looks as good as Dylan! But anyway I was walking down Fifth Ave in New York and people watching and realized this statement is so true. One very well dressed woman with blondish gray hair walked into to Bergdorf ‘s with a beautiful Afghan and their hair color was almost identical ! Here is a picture of my Daughter Stephanie with our Beautiful Dylan! They kind of match too! So funny !
The picture at the top of the page is Floyd. I was walking thru the West Village and he was outside a coffee shop waiting for his Owner. He was so patient and so quiet, and as I stopped to say Hello and get a picture you can see his eyes were looking thru the Glass window. Well not even 30 seconds passed when out walked this gentlemen who turned out to be Floyd’s Dad. We chatted for a minute and he formally introduced me to Floyd and then he went back to get his coffee. Below I will share some other City dogs and Owners feet for you to enjoy!
Happy Happy New Year to all my Family and Friends! I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas Holidays as much as our Family did this year and are looking forward to a great 2014! We were so lucky to have spent Christmas in New York City and then came back and rang in the New Year in Florida! Part of the fun this year was the quest to find the perfect Martini! Each Holiday along with new ideas for recipes, I also like to try a new cocktail. There’s something magical about white twinkling lights, glittery clothes and a Dry Martini with olives straight up not stirred. Even the glass evokes that feeling of the old days of New York City when style was elegant and traditional cocktails were enjoyed. A simple Martini or Manhattan compared to the LI Iced Tea and Apple Martini’s of today LOL!
Well anyway I had four separate occasions where I tried one and the best one for me was a Dirty Martini with olives. Creating special moments and enjoying conversation is a lost art and I’m happy to be part of a movement to restore the art of relaxing.
My Family and I created a host of Christmas Memories starting with a Christmas Concert at St Patrick’s Cathedral, several trips to see the Tree at Rockefeller Center and enjoying the Christmas Market at Bryant Park. Our first Saturday my Sister in law Terry, her Daughter Kathleen and her two granddaughters Samantha and Jessica came for dinner. I created a Pasta dish with fennel, onion, roasted peppers and swiss chard that I named Christmas Chitarra. I will post the recipe on In the Kitchen at the top of the page. On Christmas Eve we took a horse and carriage ride around Central Park, and then walked over to the lobby of the Plaza Hotel and took our picture with their Christmas tree and of course the picture of Eloise. We then went back to Stephanie’s apartment and had the Feast of the Seven Fishes for dinner, an Italian tradition. We had Fried Calamari and Baked Clams for appetizers. Next was Linguine with Shrimp and Mussels in a Marinara sauce, followed by Codfish, Fresh Tuna and Scallops baked in the oven. The Tuna was plain with a little extra virgin olive oil, capers and lemon and the scallops and codfish had olive oil, butter, breadcrumbs, lemon and parsley. After we finished our delicious Feast and cleaned up, we walked to the local Catholic Church and went to Midnight mass.
Christmas Day we took the train to New Jersey to visit our niece and nephew Peggy and Dominick and two of their sons Nicky and Dom. Peggy’s Brother Gerard and his wife Dee and Daughter Kaitlyn were there, and he made my first great Martini ! Well Gerard being a great Bartender jumped up and before you knew it viola a martini with olives in a special glass and I was sipping away and then out came all these Martini stories from everybody. It really was a riot how everyone knew someone that drank them and the consensus was I should only have one! The three Martini lunch that they all referred to must have been crazy! They were right as its quite strong but its something you sip and should appreciate! Its actually so festive in a stemmed glass and I felt great being the guest and just having fun and was living out those Queen like moments again. LOL! We had a lovely ham dinner and a Holiday bread I made stuffed with Sausage and Vegetables. Later on my husbands Brother Sonny stopped by with his wife and we had a nice visit.The time flew by so quickly and we were back in Manhattan the next morning but not before we reminisced about a Christmas we spent three years ago. Innocent snow flurries turned into an accumulation of 27 inches the day after Christmas. We were stranded for three days but had so much fun! Thursday evening my husband and I had dinner with a friend of his since elementary school Mike and his wife Betty. We decided on a local Italian restaurant and I had Bucatini amatriciano and my husband had gnocchi. Our next food adventure was Friday when my son Stephen and I took a trip to Williamsburgh Brooklyn to the famous Acme smoked Fish Market. It is only open to the Public on Friday mornings from 9 to 1pm. They ship smoked Salmon all over the United States. We tasted several samples and were on our way after getting Gravlox, Pastrami Lox, Plain Peppered Nova,smoked White Fish Salad and Herring. Check back again to read a post I’m going to write about Acme Fish market. Later we met Gerard downtown at Jim Brady’s for Lunch and I had my second Martini a dirty-one made with the olive juice straight up and I really enjoyed it! Friday night our nephew and his new Bride Nicole came to the apartment and I made Pork Tenderloins for Dinner. My husband made Martinis that evening and Nicole and I rated them high on the scale too! It was a full day and so much fun. Being on vacation gives you energy you seem to lose at home right? Well Saturday was spent with Friends going to Grand Central Station for sandwiches and cheesecake at Juniors. Next we walked back to Rockefeller Center to see the Tree for one more time and listen to the Music and watch the light show on the building at Saks Fifth Avenue.
As we flew back to Florida we all thought how nice it will be to enjoy the peace and quiet of our little town and enjoy the Palm Trees and walks down by the Jetty. We are truly blessed to live in a lovely town and still get to see New York as well. By the way my fourth Martini was Sunday night as my Daughter said she wanted a try at making me one as well. She did a great job and chose a Tomato Vodka and used the olive juice and olives for garnish and it was so delicious. What an exciting Christmas vacation! We lived in the moment enjoying delicious food and lively conversations with our Family and Great Friends. Now we look forward to the celebration of Little Christmas on Jan 6 ( Italian tradition). Then we will pack away all our glittery ornaments and think of all the wonderful memories we will make in 2014 which I’m sure will include a good Martini! LOL!
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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