It was a sticky and rainy Monday, an indoor day. So instead of heading to a pool or lake, my friend Lynn brought her two kids to my house. Our older kids could hang out, the little ones could play and the moms? What else but cook. There’s too much time to just sit around and talk all day while the house is getting trashed and no good reason to end the day with nothing for dinner. So, we killed many birds with one stone by socializing, cooking and giving the kids something to do together.
You all know this is pretty much what I do all the time with friends. It’s my lifestyle. But for my friend Lynn, the Cooking With Friends light bulb just recently went on after hearing about my cooking dates with other friends time and time again. Not only is she a big fan now, she’s even talking it up with her friends who are quite intrigued by the whole concept.
That’s usually how it happens. I call it the contagious effect. One friend will get curious when someone she knows is cooking with someone else. Sometimes she’s present to witness the awesomeness of it and other times she just hears about all the fun the two of them had together. The clincher happens when she discovers her friend had fun not only but already made dinner.
And that’s exactly what we did together last Monday. We each made a few dozen meatballs, she seasoning them her way and I mine. We admired one another’s recipes (she used her mother-in-law’s and I improvised) but they were really quite similar with egg, breadcrumbs, onion and cheese. I convinced her to add a bit of basil to hers and she shared her wet hand trick to mold the meat into perfect balls. We cooked, laughed and refereed with the kids. And then, at the end of the day, we boiled a big pot of pasta and served our gang some of the meatballs for dinner. Her older son, who usually doesn’t care for meatballs, must have been inspired by the aroma since he gobbled them up.
So it was a good rainy day Monday. One I am sure will happen again soon.
Simple Rainy Day Meatballs
2 pounds chopped meat (beef, pork, veal, turkey or a combination)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 onion, diced
1 cup bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
Few tablespoons freshly chopped basil
½ cup parmesan or Romano cheese
½ teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Mix everything together in a large bowl. Wet hands and form meatballs into desired sized balls. Bake in a baking dish in the oven on 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, turning the meatballs once. Cool and freeze.