September 22nd, 2006


Cooking Update II

Meatballs are on the stove. It was a bit more labor intensive than a pot roast - had to grate the onions and chose to grate the shell of the challah I'd disemboweled for my croutons instead of using matzo meal. I did make life easier - I put the exoskeleton in the freezer so it would be easy to grate and I used my hand blender to pulverize the onions and garlic instead of hand-grating them. (This didn't work for the bread crumbs, so I hand-grated that.)

I mixed up 3 pounds of ground beef - 2 pounds of chuck and one pound of extra-lean shoulder - with about 2/3 cup of bread crumbs, two pulverized yellow onions and two garlic cloves, one egg, oregano, fresh pepper and a bit of crushed tomatoes (my mom's rule - if it goes in the sauce, it goes in the meatballs). Then I chopped up more onions and garlic and sauted them in olive oil. I added a small can of tomato sauce, pepper and oregano. Then I made baseball sized meatballs, put them in the pot and covered them with the rest of the crushed tomatoes and some water. I'm going to add a shot of vinegar and go shopping.

Cooking Update III (and final)

DONE, for all intents and purposes.

The meatballs are cooling. The turkey breasts (two bone-in half-breasts) are in the oven. The "stuffing" is in the crockpot. The broccoli is marinating in the fridge. DONE.

Stuffing is an adaptation of the stuffing I grew up with. My mother made it by sauteing onions and celery and mushrooms in margarine (I remember the lumps of margarine in the pan), seasoning it with poultry seasoning, and combining it with an egg and crushed Ritz crackers. It had to be Ritz crackers, and it was the kids' job to crush them with our *hands*.

To me, all holidays - Jewish and Thanksgiving both - smell of stewed onions, celery and mushrooms.

But jonbaker doesn't like the crackers. And I'm making turkey breasts , so stuffing them is out, and then there are problems associated with stuffing turkeys. So. I sauted the veggies in a mixture of chicken fat (skimmed from the soup) and vegetable oil, and I added garlic and used fresh pepper and bay leaves, and I used challah I'd torn in chunks and toasted in the oven, and I'm cooking it in the crockpot with homemade stock.

But the basic flavors are the same, and it will taste like it came from the bird because of the stock and fat, and be moist because of the crock pot. And there is an egg in it.

And it smells like holidays.