Saturday, June 5, 2010

Grami's Thrifty Meatballs

My paternal grandmother, otherwise known as Grami, made some mean meatballs.

Not just any mean meatballs, but thrifty, mean meatballs.

Why did she call them thrifty? Well, probably because she could find most of the ingredients in her pantry. With seven mouths to feed (plus Grandpa), she had to use what she had on hand.

If you're interested in making them, here's what you'll need:

1 lb. ground beef (Or use turkey like I did.)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup uncooked rice
1/4 cup cracker crumbs (I used Saltines.)
1/3 cup milk
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 tablespoon poultry seasoning
2 tablespoons fat for frying
1-10 1/2 ounce can of cream of mushroom or celery soup
3/4 cup hot water
4 ounces of mushrooms (Cut them into pieces or if you're like me, skip them altogether, so you don't gag!)

Let's get started!

First, throw the meat (beef or turkey) into a bowl.

Next, add some onion. (I prefer frozen onion, so my eyes don't water.)

Then, it's time for the uncooked rice to join the mix.

Okay, let's kick it up a notch by adding crackers (crushed), milk, salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. That's better!

Then, use your *clean* hands to mix up the ingredients.
Shape the mixture into small balls.
And try not to get frostbite. Ooooweee--my hands were so cold! I think I should have defrosted the meat a bit more.
(I made the balls the night before, covered them with plastic wrap and refrigerated them to cut down on my prep time the following day. Good thinking, Mom!)

When you are ready to cook the meatballs, preheat the electric skillet to 340 degrees. Add fat. (Or spray on a bit of PAM and call it good.) Brown the meatballs on all sides.

When the meatballs are done, combine a can of soup and 3/4 cup of hot water.

Or how about a cup of water? I just looked at the picture and realized that I didn't follow the recipe to a T. You may want to add even more water if the soup needs to be diluted further.

Pour the soup and water mixture over the meatballs. Cover the electric skillet. Simmer for 1 1/4 hours at 220 degrees. Make sure to stir it occasionally.

Feel free to double or triple the recipe as needed.

I doubled it, and the 20+ people in attendance at my Grami's memorial devoured every last meatball. They went so fast, in fact, that my Aunt Susie didn't even get one. I guess I'll just have to make them again, now wont' I?!

Grami's Thrifty Meatballs are great served on rice or mashed potatoes.

These meatballs will make your mouth water, but they won't break the bank.

And each time I make them, I'll think of my Grami and all of the fun times we had together.

Bon appetit,

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