Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Meatballs and Grape Jelly - Not an urban legend

Alot has been going on in my life over the past few weeks - let's just say a grove of lemons popped up in my path. I guess it's time for lemonade, alot of it (and maybe some of it spiked). Probably more on that later.

Growing up in an Italian family, I am quite familiar with the meatball. In my little universe, meatballs were made with a combination of beef & sometimes pork, breadcrumbs, imported Romano cheese (freshly grated), onions, garlic, a bunch of herbs, and a couple of eggs. These delightful round balls were then sauteed in bacon grease (or sometimes olive oil - EEVOO). They were then plopped into a vat of tomato sauce where they stayed until they soaked up all of the flavors of the sauce. When pronounced "done", there were served with some type of pasta or a loaf of bread (that someone had just made).

Apparently, there are other ways to serve meatballs ... although the thought of compromising a good meatball in something other than tomato sauce has been somewhat elusive to me, I am exploring the idea. Kind of like an adventure in food.

I have had the ever classic, "cocktail wiener" - but alas, I had no idea what was in the sauce. Maybe it should have stayed that way. Now, I learn from some of my closest friends that meatballs are good in a sauce made of grape jelly, coca-cola, and chili sauce.

I say it sounds like something invented by accident by people who are stoned.

"Dude, what have you got to eat around here?"
"I don't know man, I think there are some meatballs in the fridge"

[Dude goes to fridge, starts looking for the meatballs pulls out some jelly, chili sauce, and a coke then finds the meatballs and sets everything onto counter]

"Wow, man, these meatballs need some help - hey - what are you doing?"
"I don't know dude, I thought I'd put some chili sauce on them"
"Oh no, I think I just spilled the coke in there too"

[Snort - laughter ensues]

"HA HA [as he squirts the jelly into the mix] "What else do you have in there?"
"OMG, these are the best meatballs ever!"

Or maybe another scenario like Junior helps Mommy in the Kitchen ...

Scene opens with Mommy trying to get some meatballs made for the cocktail party at her house (hopefully before people start showing up in 30 minutes).
The phone rings - while talking to Liz on the phone, Mommy starts looking for stuff to put on the meatballs (actually the whole concept of meatballs in something other than tomato sauce eludes me, but I'm open to trying new things)
The doorbell rings - it's one of the neighbor's kids selling Girl Scout Cookies
Mommy goes back to the kitchen when she discovers Junior has started to help.

"Mommy! Look what I did ... I'm helping!!!"
"NO! NO!!! What did you put in there?"
"Well, I put some jelly and some coke and then I mixed it all up. It's good Mommy, try it!"

Fast forward 15 minutes as a frenzied, exasperated Mommy starts welcoming guests ... who absolutely LOVE the meatballs ...
Scene closes as Junior gets an extra piece of cake.

I had to "google" the recipe - I just had to. Not that I thought my friends were making this up, but sheer curiosity got the best of me. There are dozens of interesting variations. Here's one for Grape Jelly Meatballs. Yep, you actually put the GRAPE JELLY INTO THE MEAT. I'm speechless. Then a variation of the Grape Jelly/Chili Sauce (without the Coke) version. I also read one where you add a cup (a whole cup) of Brandy to the grape jelly and chili sauce (no coke in this one either, but why would you need it with the Brandy ... and it was submitted by a priest.) I really need to try these things.

Maybe I'll whip up a batch of these grape jelly meatballs to go with my lemonade.

1 comment:

Heather said...

BEST.POST.EVER! Seriously, loved it. So sorry to hear about your lemon grove. We are praying for you guys. And sending lots of love and telepathic winning lottery numbers.