Alternate title: Love Me Some Balls. (I'm a 13-year-old kid, I swear to God. Or an awesome Alec Baldwin SNL sketch.)
So, anyhoo, I made some meatballs this week and didn't really think anything of it. Pasta's a norm around our house (like, a once-a-week occurrence). However, we usually keep it easy and vegetarian, since we're still eating about 50 percent meat (half of our meals with/without, if you will), give or take a meal here and there.
See, when I grew up, our spaghetti or baked ziti or lasagna (we ate very little of this after a vomiting bug incident...ugh) HAD to have meatballs. Actually, almost every meal had to have meat, but we were a meat-and-potato type family. Mom was June Cleaver, only with a career. #madrespect
She worked on her meatballs for years. She craved perfection. Baked or fried? Fresh or dried herbs? How much garlic is "too much"? WHY ARE THESE FLAT HOCKEY PUCKS INSTEAD OF MEATBALLS??? It was actually a tad entertaining to observe, from a child's perspective. We always gave honest reviews -- a little hard, a little mushy or fally-aparty (technical analysis, I tell ya), no flavor -- but, really, they were always good.
One day, she perfected them. Man, was she proud, and I can't blame her. They were a thing to look forward to.
Fast forward twenty years and my stepdad now makes them. They're far from perfect, but, hey -- a man who makes dinner? Can't complain about that.
And at our house? I haven't made them since Hadley came along. I don't make my own sauce (oh, yes...Mom makes her own, too...talk about self-loathing, points to self), so I just boil some salty water for pasta, throw on a pot of Paul Newman's organic sauce, and throw a couple of salads together (a "must" for my hubs). It's just the easiest way for us. Maybe one day I'll be inspired to make my own sauce. And freeze extra for five future meals. Like Mom.
But, last Tuesday, I had some local, grassfed beef laying around after making chili over the weekend. I could've made some mini-meatloaves, which I know my guys love, but I decided to make some meatballs (along with extras to freeze for later -- I'm catchin' on, Ma!) to throw in, too. Hadley's a carnivorous youngster, so I knew he'd like the flavor. (Yep. I called it.)
Funny thing is, I didn't think to take pictures or anything. I mentioned it briefly on Facebook and someone politely asked for the recipe -- to which I kindly directed them to the Rachael Ray recipe I altered. Apparently, even my altering would be appreciated. Who knew? Lesson learned. Note to self: Take pictures of everything I cook. Ever. Just in case.
So, here are Rachael Ray's altered balls. ;-) No offense, Rach.