Memory Lane

My high school senior brought home the paperwork last week for putting a baby picture in his yearbook. No way was I going to miss that chance, especially since he’s gone from being this chunk of baby cuteness to a 6’1″ string bean.

Among the pictures I dug out was this one. Both boys on the first day of school, 1996. My oldest was starting kindergarten; his little brother was 3 and going to preschool at the same private school in Florida. It’s hard to believe they are the same giant teenagers I live with today. Or that it’s been 12 years since that picture was taken. Really, it doesn’t feel like that long ago.

Speaking of long ago …

On the left is me, Easter 1972, around 18 months of age. The other photo was taken about a year later. I’m quite the fan of that deer-in-the-headlights expression on the right. I was actually trying to find pictures of me in mama-made clothes to scan in (still looking, BTW) but got a kick out of these and scanned them in for posterity.

Remember my ode to my mom’s meatballs? Imagine my surprise to find this photo of her in action. I’m going to have to ask my dad if he knows when it was taken, since I’m not sure of the date and I don’t recognize the house at all (but not surprising since we moved around a little bit, thanks to the Army). I really don’t remember having seen this picture before, so to find it now, so close to the time of my reminiscing, just makes me happy. And a little teary.

Meatball Memories

It’s amazing how the most random comments can evoke memories. Some online friends were talking about meatballs yesterday and I had a sudden craving for my Mom’s meatballs.

My mom made the best meatballs ever. I remember watching her fry them up on the stove, putting each batch on a plate layered with paper towels so they could drain before getting dunked into the sauce. We’d all sneak into the kitchen to snatch a still-warm meatball off the plate, usually getting caught. Oh, but it was worth it.

The Christmas before my mom got sick, she gave me a cookbook she’d found, a reprint of the one she’d learned to cook from. It’s definitely not health food! It was originally published in 1950 and is filled with tips for entertaining as well as pictures of how to do basic cooking skills like frying an egg.

I dug out the cookbook today and quickly jotted down the ingredients before running to the grocery store. Tonight we’ll have meatball subs (we had baked spaghetti on Monday; I think the family will mutiny if we have pasta again this week) and maybe a little reminiscing, too.

Meat Balls (excerpted from Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book, ca. 1950)

Mix and form into 1-1/2″ balls …

3/4 lb. ground beef
1/4 lb. ground pork
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup grate Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. minced parsley
2 small garlic cloves, cut fine
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Pan-fry until browned in 4 Tbsp. hot fat…

1 cup minced onion
the meat balls