Monday, April 4, 2011

Food Stories

I love how food tells a story. I believe that's what recipes stories. The sloppy PB and J I made my 2 year old the other day told the story of how absurdly busy the day had been, while the stuffed pork loin I attempted to make last night was the story of culinary inspiration and stepping outside of my cooking comfort zone. Whatever the food is, it always has a story behind it. This past weekend I was able to reflect on my own food heritage as I poured through some old cookbooks. I found my first Disney cookbook, with the page for "Sleeping Beauty's Spinning Wheels" still dog-eared. I pulled out my favorite cookbook devoted only to chocolate (can we say chocoholic?), and then I pulled out the smallest cookbook I have. While it's worn edges tell the story of frequent use and the fact that it automatically falls open to one recipe shows that I have utilized this book for one recipe and one recipe only.

This recipe, or food story, has been past down for generations, as it is a treasured pioneer recipe. I love the fact that the pioneer dishes had to be simple, yet substantial. I can just imagine these rockin' pioneer women making these beauties up after an strenuous day of walking, running, pulling, chasing, etc.  The last thing they probably wanted to do after setting up camp was to make dinner, but they did it, and they did it with love. I'm sure the chorus of appreciation was sung numerous times for those strong pioneer women. Those gals knew how to cook!

Now don't get freaked out by the name of the recipe. No porcupines were harmed in making this dish! I've made a few changes to the original recipe to reduce some calories and fat. Serve it up with a big green salad and you have a great balanced meal!

Porcupine Meatballs

  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
    • 2 lbs lean ground meat (you can use turkey)
    • 2 T flour
    • 1 tsp. crushed rosemary
    • 1 tsp. chopped onion
    • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
    • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 egg, slightly beaten

    Combine all ingredients for sauce in large pot.  Cover and place over low heat to simmer.
    Combine all ingredients for meatballs and form into balls about the size of walnuts.  Spray non-stick spray into pan and brown meatballs evenly.  As they brown, drop them into sauce...try not to splatter sauce everywhere.  I'm totally not speaking from experience.
    Cover tightly and simmer away for about 40 minutes.

    *If you are using ground turkey, be VERY careful when browning.  They tend to fall apart more easily.  Still tastes good though :)

    So now friends, go make you own food stories and eat well in the process!!


    1. Ah, yes! I think was the Tuesday night menu when I was actually cooking. I still cook.... now it's just on Sunday nights, however.....

    2. You're awesome Mom. Thanks for being one of my biggest culinary inspirations! :)

    3. HA, what a coincident. I have made this only twice in thirteen years. I pulled it out just last week after 10 years and it was a good hit for the kids which is saying A LOT for the boys. We have put it over spaghetti which I don't remember doing that but Josh sees red tomato sauce and it must be spaghetti. Very Taste Meatballs.


    You got something to chew on?