Oh balls – a sequel

Is petty a thing I want to be on my blog?

I opened this new post to complain that while I was in the shower, my husband, who has taken on some of the mantle of cook, decided to make fried blackened meat discs. The smell was terrible.

What he was attempting, was meatballs. This is important because out of all the foods I love and all the of the cooking I’ve done, meatballs are the only food item I’ve cared enough to blog about.

There are so many things apparently wrong (to me) with this situation. Why would he massacre something so precious to me? Why wouldn’t he ask someone who knows how to make and practically worships at the alter of meatball, how to make them? Why wouldn’t he just save the meatball making for someone who knows how to do it already? Why would he fry meatballs?

There are so many questions that ran through my head while composing the blog that was supposed to go in the place of this one.

But instead of writing that one, the petty complaining one, I’m writing this one.

He went out of his way to make a food he knows I love. He took time out of his day to look up how to make meatballs. He sallied forth in his attempt despite the prospect of failure, and continued in the very face of it.

I think when people say “Choose to be happy”, what they really mean is “Choose to see the good”. And sometimes doing that is impossible. It’s easy to find dysfunction, ignorance and evil in the world. But some times those things have silver linings. I try to see the silver linings because it gives me less to be angry about. And I’m happier for it.

I’m still not gonna eat those meatballs though.





Oh balls

I made meatballs today. Homemade, real Italian, authentic meatballs.

I felt nostalgic like I always do when I make meatballs.

It’s a really long process for me. I have to take my time, getting all the different ingredients, lining them up on our dining room table. setting out the mixing bowl, the cutting board, the pan for the cooking. Double check to make sure I have everything I need.

And then I rest. Today I laid down and watched a TV episode while I recuperated from my meatball setup.

Then I start the meatballs. Chopping the onions, cracking the eggs, smashing the meat together with the herbs, garlic and breadcrumbs. This is a long process. It usually takes an hour before I’m even ready to roll them up in my hands.

I don’t know why meatballs make me feel nostalgic. I have no memory of eating them when I was a child. My mother didn’t keep me by her side in the kitchen while she handed down her family recipe. Or at least not that I remember. I have no recollection at all of when or where I actually learned how to make meatballs. My mother, while a great cook, did not teach me her skills. I mostly taught myself.

My mother is Italian. Or as close to Italian as a 3rd generation American can get now a days I guess. My great grandmother came over here from Italy. My mother was raised in an all Italian town in Upstate New York. She’d never seen a taco until she met my dad and he whisked her away to the various military bases he was assigned to.

So I feel very Italian even though I barely qualify as such. Food has always held a cherished place in my heart. Especially Italian food. And especially meatballs.

There’s just something about the aroma and rolling every individual meatball and simmering them in the sauce until your whole house smells heavenly, that makes me feel peaceful.

At least it usually does. Today it almost worked. Today I almost found my meatball heaven. But I was so tired. I had to stop and rest more times than I usually do. And when I got to the simmering part, something insignificant happened that made me mad and I started drinking. I’ve been doing that lately. Drinking to avoid being uncomfortable. In the end, dinner was great. The effort was monumental but I am quite a good cook when I can remember how to be.

But my shimmering meatball heaven never materialized. Sometimes I feel like nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.