Do you remember the Swedish chef on the Muppets? He was always making meatballs and singing about making meatballs. Well today I made 5 pounds of meatballs, and I'm a vegetarian! I made them for my husband and kids. They are meatatarians.
I wasn't always a vegetarian. I grew up in an Italian household. I had my share of spaghetti with meatballs, homemade lasagna, sausage and onions, tortellini etc. If there was a pasta covered in sauce, I ate it! My mom did all of the cooking and teaching us kids how to cook wasn't a priority for her. She figured when we were ready to learn we would ask her and learn.
So when I moved it and started living on my own, I was ready to learn how to cook. I asked my mom how to make meatballs. I couldn't really ask for a copy of her recipe since she never writes any of her recipes down. So this how the conversation goes.
Me: Mom, What's the recipe for your meatballs.
Mom: There is no recipe. I just use whatever I have.
Me: Well, what do you usually have when you make meatballs.
Mom: Some ground meat and spices.
Me: (with pen and paper handy staring into my spice cabinet) Like salt and pepper?
Mom: Yeah, a little and some garlic and onion powder and parsley.
Me: anything else?
Mom: Some eggs too.
Mom: and some breadcrumbs.(now she's on a roll)
Me: Ok, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, eggs and breadcrumbs....
Mom: and sometimes milk.
Me: Ok, how much meat and how many eggs?
Mom: A package of meat and about 2 eggs
Me: What size package?
Mom: The one that's in the store.
Me: Ohhhhh... (still not sure how much meat or anything else to use).
Mom: Then roll it into balls and bake it till its done.
Me: What temperature and for how long? (my pen is still ready to go, but the paper remains empty...)
Mom: About 350 or 400, my oven never works right, ya know. And take it out when its done.
Me: Ok, I'll try it. (This really means I'll wait till next time I visit then I'll ask her to make meatballs and get better notes ;) )
That was about 12 years ago. Now I can make meatballs (with compliments from my husband and kids) and I still don't have a recipe written down. In fact, I think writing this conversation for my blog is as close to an actual recipe for my mom's meatballs as I've ever seen!