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