|On top of spa-ghe-tti....all covered with cheeeeese.... I managed to not lose my meatball - Photo by Wasabi Prime|
The Hatorade Rant in my braincapsule promptly ended when I looked at my own disaster-area excuse of a weekly planner. Scribbled notes crossed out, then re-circled, as if to signal in some secret code that no, that deadline still stands, and it was due yesterday. Blerg. And lately there's been more than a few days that dragged into 2am nights, finishing a project so that I could save time for an extra project that suddenly popped up unexpectedly, that will be due at 10am the next morning. You know this Freelance Dance that I speak of, and anyone who's juggling work with a family and home life can also shout an, Amen! to that. So when I have the odd moment to peer glassy-eyed at whatever Mr. Postman has delivered to my hobbit-hovel, I may yearn for fancier fare in theory, but simple-to-prepare humble comforts are what I really need.
So in reality, meatballs kind of save the day. You can make them with any type of ground meat -- even no meat! I've done a vegetarian version with smashed beans, cooked quinoa and an egg to bind, but you could probably replace the egg with some sticky, short-grain rice to give it a vegan-friendly binder. They can be baked, pan-seared, fried or boiled. The seasoning can vary -- Italian, Asian, Spanish, Greek, anything your worldly wanderlust appetite desires. One Friday evening, I saw no less than three different mentions over Twitter from people in different states, all making spaghetti and meatballs, I'm assuming for the same reason -- a long week finally come to an end, they wanted something familiar and hearty. It made me think back to the last time I made spaghetti and meatballs, and it was for that same reason. It wasn't fussy, it can be prepared easily from scratch, and there's something about this totally Americanized dish that feels like home.
|Giant turkey meatballs, with or without spaghetti, plenty tasty - Photos by Wasabi Prime|
I turned to The Power of Meatballs when I had a surplus of tomatoes at varying degrees of overripeness. You've run into this before -- everyone brings stuff from their gardens or something wonderful from the farmers market to a barbecue, but then you're stuck with all these leftovers. The tomatoes had beautiful color, but rapidly softening -- into a sauce they went! A grilling surplus of orphan hot dog buns (arrrg, damn you Atkins no-bun hot dog eaters! Oh, who am I kidding, I'm one of those douches too.) resulted in a few days of meatball sandwiches. I don't understand the notion of meatball sliders -- a tall, round burger between a bun just seems like a recipe for lockjaw. But meatball sandwiches done sub/hoagie-style, that's more bite-friendly. Either making smaller meatballs or splitting them before adding them into the bread helps for easier eating and optimal surface area for topping with extra sauce and cheese. See, there's a science to eating meatballs! It was less about epic blog food, and more about making sure random leftovers didn't go to waste, but just like with an overstuffed schedule, Meatballs Are My Hero.
|Meatballs saving the day, yet again - Photos by Wasabi Prime|