Thursday, November 20, 2014

Swedish Meatballs

Tempted, oh so tempted was I to get take-out for dinner or order a pizza.  Happy my husband, fresh off a transatlantic flight from England, took the day off to be home, my plans for dinner were seriously neglected.

Wow!  It's totally dark out! -- said our four year old as we left the after school program her brother attends.  Yes, even though the days are getting shorter and the sun sets earlier and earlier, this was the latest pick-up in the 2014-15 school year history for our family.  As we piled into the car, it was clear that two of the four of us were starved, cold and tired.

Should we order a pizza?, I whispered to my husband who shot down the idea.  Less from a financial perspective and more from a health one, No, you always feel sick.  What was the plan for dinner?  For the past few weeks I knew that tonight I would make Swedish Meatballs, a favorite of my late father's.  Why today?  November 20th was his birthday, and I make a point of fixing some of his favorite foods to feel closer to him, and connect the children with a man they will never know.

Swedish meatballs, but they talk 1.5 hours to make.  These kids are starved.  My look of defeat did not deter my husband.  Hmmm, they can wait, they won't die.  So home we went.  The car door knocked into our daughter's head and her utter melt down, which somehow pushed her brother over the edge, put two screaming kids in my kitchen.  While mixed up, the meatballs were not even shaped.  What to do?

Enter the incredible, edible, frugal egg.  Two eggs, scrambled in butter, paired with cheese, pumpkin bread, and banana slices.  In under ten minutes the kids had a healthy, fast, and inexpensive dinner. While they ate, I prepared the meatballs to be enjoyed later in the evening by my husband and I.  As I write the night time music filters down the hall, my husband is finishing a reading of Star Trek Legos to our son, and we'll dine in a few minutes.

Home cooked food -- it is at the core of our frugal home.  Take-out is easy, but pricey, usually not that healthy, and a burden on the local dump with all the containers.  Parents in a rush?  Turn to the scrambled egg.   Eager to try new dishes in the kitchen, here is my mom's highly simplified version of Swedish Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 mashed potato
  • diced onion
  • dash of allspice, salt and pepper
Mix, roll into balls (golf ball sized), brown in butter, then simmer in water, covered, for about an hour.  Authentic?  I cannot say.  Delicious on a cold November night, yes!

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