In All it’s Gravy Glory

I promised you guys some meatball action today.

See them back there?

It has become bookclub tradition for the host to facilitate some kind of light appetizer spread for the group.  I clearly have no problem with this.  In fact, I don’t think I really understand the meaning of “light”.

I made the meatballs the way my dad makes them and the way his mom made them before him.  They’re not low-fat and they don’t have any gourmet ingredients in them, but they’re 100% real food and they taste like Mom’s kitchen.

These meatballs will take you back to a time when you didn’t have big kid worries (bills to pay?  psshh.) and make you want to snuggle up with your Snuggie.  I recommend making them for Sunday dinner.

Swedish (err, Norwegian) Meatballs

1 lb ground beef (I used angus- 95% lean)

1 small onion

1/4 cup breadcrumbs (plain, not seasoned)

1 whole egg

6-8 T butter (the real kind- trust me)

4 heaping T flour (all purpose, not whole wheat- again, trust me)

1 beef boullion cube or 2 cups beef broth

salt and pepper to taste

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Finely chop onion.  I’m not talking dicing it.  Take your aggressions out on that onion and take some good whacks at it with your knife until the pieces are really pretty small.

Combine beef, onion, breadcrumbs, egg and some salt and pepper in a bowl and mix until combined.  Form into balls slightly smaller than a golfball.  Maybe the size of an eyeball.  But that’s gross and I don’t want to put that image in your head.  Let’s stick with runt golfballs.

Melt about 4 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add balls to the skillet and brown on all sides.  Once they are good and browned remove from pan, reserving butter in skillet.

If it looks like the meatballs have soaked up a lot of the butter, add a few tablespoons more of butter (up to 4 more if you’re feeling crazy) and melt.

Add flour to the butter in the pan and whisk to combine.  You’re making a roux, and it should be the consistency of grainy toothpaste (but don’t brush with it.  It won’t do you much good).  If you’re using a boullion cube, this would be a good time to dissolve it in some water.  About 2 cups will do you.

Slowly whisk in broth, whisking and making sure to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add enough liquid until the gravy has come to a gravy-like consistency.  It’s its destiny.  Then add a bit more liquid so that it’s a little on the thin side.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Reduce the heat to low and add meatballs back to skillet, coating with the gravy.  Let them simmer for a few minutes and serve.

I served these guys with toothpicks since they were more of a cocktail snack, but the way we really serve them is over a bed of plain white or brown rice.  Very coma inducing.  Even better with a glass of glögg.  Don’t know what glögg is?  Check back once the weather turns cold- I’m sure I’ll make it.

Great blogger brunch today!  So great meeting some new Chicago bloggers- recap on its way tomorrow!

What are your favorite kind of meatballs?  Did you grow up with the massive marinara-covered Italian style ‘balls (a là The Wedding Singer), or did your parents take you to IKEA for the Swedish variety?  Or how about tofu ‘balls?  I hear those are pretty slammin’.

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You Can Lead a Norse to Water…

…but you can’t make him drink (anything other than aquavit!)

(source)

If you know me at all, you know that I have a borderline aggressive fondness for my heritage.  All four of my grandparents were 100% Scandinavian (3 Norwegian and 1 Danish, which means that all two of my parents are 100% Scandinavian and all one of me is, too!

Not many people in this great big America of States know much about Scandinavian culture (unless, perhaps, they live in one of the northernmost plain states) and I think this is somewhat tragic.

Thanks to my grandparents, who all seem to have hailed from the same 4 block radius of small town Scandinavia, and who passed down their traditions to their children who then passed them down to their children, I have grown quite the affinity for labskaus (read: beef stew), lefse (read: potato crepes) and hot sticky buns (read: of the dough variety).

In honor of this month’s selection…

(source)

I made Swedish meatballs for book club!

{insert picture and recipe here}

I’m going to have to be a HUGE tease and post the pictures and recipe tomorrow.  All apologies.

I can tell you that my apartment smelled like home last night.

F-E-NOMENAL recipe.  (Just go with it)

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And thanks to Jessica for the blog award!


The Rules:
1. Answer this question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?
2. The second thing you have to do is, pick 6 people and give them this award. You then have to inform the person that they have gotten this award.
3. The third and final thing is, thank the person who gave you the award.

I’ve tried very hard in my 20 something years to live my life without regrets.  Mistakes happen, it’s how we deal with them that informs the kind of person that we become.  That said, I would have liked to have been more involved with charity work when I was in college.  At BC, volunteerism is huge and I never took part as much as I could have.  But I’m still young and there are still tons of worthy causes out there and there’s no reason that I can’t make up for lost time!

Here are some bloggers that I believe do great things in the world (or at least, in the virtual world!) and who deserve recognition!

Susan @ The Great Balancing Act

Sarah @ Peas And Thank You

Matt @ Health Blog Helper

Andrea @ Can You Stay For Dinner?

Amy @ Second City Randomness

Madeline @ Greens And Jeans

Thanks again, Jessica!
Check back tomorrow for the meatball extravaganza!  (ok, it might not be an extravaganza.  But you’ll probably want to make a batch of these ‘balls immediately.  Consider yourself warned.)

What’s your heritage?  Was it a big part of your life growing up?

It’s Gonna Be a Long Day

I have to make this a short post this morning.  I was going to post last night, but this happened:

My book club met last night to discuss Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.

It was a very difficult book to read, but motivated a great conversation (go nerds!).  Book club is one of my favorite things, and we had extra fun last night which meant that I didn’t make my way to bed until slightly later than would have been ideal for a Tuesday night.

I also ordered a veggie burger with my barrel of wine.  We then went to The Fountainhead for some craft beers.  I went with the Avery Maharaja from Boulder, CO.  It was described as such: “this imperial ipa is regal, intense and mighty”.

It’s blurry.  Wonder why.

This beer was incredibly hoppy and delicious.

I’m off to consume antioxidants and massive amounts of coffee.

Have a good day!

When was the last time you stayed out past your bedtime on a weeknight?  Was it worth it?