The day after moving my son into his new apartment, I had to go grocery shopping. I usually look forward to shopping at the markets, but not that day. The empty nest syndrome hit me, as now both of my sons moved out. Don’t get me wrong; I am excited for them starting this new phase in their life, but the house will seem empty without their presence. Also, not only did I cook for my family but for their girlfriends and friends. There always seemed to be a lot of extra people. Ho hum.
I finished my shopping at one store, and while I was waiting in line I watched a father with his two small boys. The boys were “helping” daddy get the items on the conveyer belt. It was a slow process, but the boys were definitely enjoying themselves. I couldn’t help smiling at them as they made a leaning tower of boxes and dad quickly jumping in to save them from toppling over. He kept glancing at me and finally said, “I’m so sorry. They really like helping.”
Smiling, I said, “Don’t worry about it. I’m just watching remembering when my two boys were that age, helping me to put the food up.”
He said, “It takes a lot longer to get things done. Especially when I’m in the workshop and they want to help. Then when they go to bed I go back out to fix the help I got, but it’s worth every minute.”
I laughed. “I remember those times very well. Now I just moved the last one out of the house. Seems very empty.”
Glancing at my cart he smiled and raised an eyebrow. “Yesterday, you say?”
I looked down and looked him straight in the eye and said, “Okay. I’m having trouble adjusting.”
We both laughed as we looked at my almost overflowing cart full of food items.
It’s true. I am having a hard time adjusting to cooking for just two. When I got home that day, I made John Shepherds Pie. He had it for 3 days, and we also added 4 portions to the freezer. And yesterday I made 48 medium sized meatballs, 20 sausages, and almost 8 quarts of spaghetti sauce. Luckily Jack came home to do laundry, and so I sent him home with a couple of containers of the meatball and sausage sauce. However, I made so much I still had to freeze some portions.
This week I will give you my meatball recipe. It is packed full of flavor, but not so much that one flavor overrides another. When working the meatballs, try to not overwork the ingredients or the meatballs will become dense. Also, to make rolling easier, I always add a little oil to my hands so the mixture does not stick to my hands. When meatballs are cooked add them to your favorite sauce. Enjoy!
Makes 48 medium size meatballs.
2 lbs. ground beef
2 lbs. ground pork
¾ cup minced onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. basil
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup grated parmesan
¼ cup cabernet sauvignon
Heat oven to 400°.
Combine all the ingredients and mix by hand until just mixed. Be careful to not over mix, as the meatballs will become dense. Place meatballs on cookie sheet.* Make sure the balls are not touching. Bake meatballs for 20 minutes or until done.
*I place tin foil on the cookie sheet and lightly spray with oil to avoid a sticky mess.