Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mom's Cocktail Meatballs

Camping with Mom when we were young

     We buried my mother this week.  After a long illness and a year of dialysis, she passed away peacefully at home.  Thankfully, I was able to take care of her, it was an amazing gift and I treasure every minute we were able to spend together.  
     My mother was an incredible cook.  Some of my earliest memories are of her standing over the stove making rosette cookies for us.  She'd dip the batter covered iron into the bubbling oil and in minutes would pass us a platter of the light,  crispy cookies covered in powdered sugar.  For Christmas Eve she'd make pressed pork and molded jellied veal loaves from recipes handed down to her from her Swedish relatives.  It would take days of preparation and I still have the meat grinder she'd clamp to the kitchen table and crank furiously until the cooked veal was the right consistency.  We rolled and cut cookies every holiday and to this day I use her Mirro cookie press from the sixties.  When Julia Child introduced American housewives to French cooking, my mother was glued to the tv, taking notes during every episode of The French Chef.  In her new enameled, cast iron cookware she prepared many wonderful meals, educating our palettes along the way.  While the other kids in the neighborhood were eating franks and beans on a Saturday night, Mom was whipping up platters of Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon.  She came home one day from her Chinese cooking class with bags of exotic ingredients, shiny new cleavers and a wok that she seasoned and used faithfully. 
     Mother was fearless, daring and her adventurous spirit in the kitchen spilled over into all aspects of her life as well.  When arthritis got the best of her and she could no longer stand at the kitchen counter, she continued to devour cookbooks, voraciously reading them from cover to cover, still enjoying armchair meal planning and finding new recipes for me to try.  I am so grateful for her never ending, unconditional love and for all the wonderful smells, sounds and flavors that emanated from her kitchen, she continues to be my inspiration and I aspire to be more like her every day. 
     Food and mealtimes create some of our best memories, I hope you'll think of my mother when you make these meatballs.  I'm not sure where she found the recipe but friends and neighbors flocked to the Crock Pot every holiday to load up on them before they disappeared.  In my 12 inch dutch oven, they baked for 40 minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the base of the oven and 26-28 briquettes on the lid.  Bake them anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of your meatball.  It's a great party recipe, they freeze well too and if you can't make them in your dutch oven, bake them in a 9 by 13 inch pan in your conventional oven, I hope they become a classic at your holiday table as well. 
       
Mom's Cocktail Meatballs
Meatballs
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 cup packaged cornflake crumbs
1/3 cup dried parsley flakes
2 eggs
2 Tblsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup ketchup
3 Tblsp instant minced onion
Sauce
1 14 oz can jellied cranberry sauce
1 12 oz bottle chili sauce
2 Tblsp brown sugar
1 Tblsp lemon juice

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch or larger dutch oven.
     In large bowl, combine beef, cornflake crumbs, parsley, eggs, soy sauce, pepper, garlic powder, ketchup and minced onion.
     Form into small balls about the size of a walnut and arrange in a single layer in prepared oven.
     In medium sized saucepan, combine cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice.
     Cook over medium heat, stirring, until smooth and cranberry sauce is melted.
     Pour sauce over meatballs.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Form meatballs and place in a single layer
in prepared dutch oven

Cover with sauce

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes

Mom loved sharing her recipes and this one's a keeper

16 comments:

  1. the meatballs look wonderful. I have been saving a lot of your recipes to try when we hit the road in a couple weeks and I will be using my dutch oven frequently - it is nice to have so many wonderful memory's of a parent - you can look back at those years with a smile

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    1. Thank you Karen, hope you enjoy the recipes and that you have a wonderful vacation. Liddy

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  2. Those look awesome. I bookmarked these. So sorry for your loss, she sounded like an amazing women. Take care Liddy.

    Scott

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    1. Thanks so much Scott, Liddy

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  3. A great tribute to your mom. I'll definitely try this soon. Sorry for your loss and thanks for sharing the recipe.

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    1. You're welcome Aaron, hope you like the meatballs and thank you for your condolences, Liddy

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  4. WOW! Your Mom sounded like an amazing woman! Memories like that make her seem to be there every time you make these. So sorry for your loss!! I am gonna try the meatballs, I've made the Caramel Apple Cinnamon Dump Cake many times, and each time it's a big hit!

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    1. So glad you are enjoying the Dump Cake Jon, hope you like the meatballs and thank you for your nice comments, Liddy

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    1. Thank you so much Archie, Liddy

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  6. I just visited your site and was very saddened to learn of your loss. Our parents are wonderful bridges connecting our childhood, our heritage, and our history, and when they pass the present seems bleak. Your tribute to your Mom is evidence that she did her job well and has passed on the torch to you so that you too can be a bridge upon which a younger generation will stand.
    Our prayers are with your family.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and prayers Frenchy, (sniff sniff), Liddy

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  7. Made these tonight in the legless DO. They turned out great. We put them on hoagie buns with sour cream and cheese for some killer meatball subs. Thanks again for posting!

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    1. Thanks so much for your feedback Aaron, will definitely have to try them in subs, the sour cream and cheese sound like a scrumptious combination, thanks for the tip! Liddy

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  8. Very sorry for your loss! You Mom sounds like an amazing woman! I will definitely be trying out this recipe in her honor very soon! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much Becky for your thoughtfulness, Liddy

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