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Author Topic: Our Meatball Tradition  (Read 8209 times)

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Offline foreplease

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #60 on: December 14, 2017, 04:37:37 PM »
2017 Step 1. This is everything except the meat and 40 peppers I am picking up Mon. I will start cooking the sauce tomorrow morning. Sat afternoon prep ingredients for meatballs. Sun afternoon, visit the butcher shop to grind and mix. Start rolling and baking late Sun afternoon. 3 of 6 kids (counting spouses) will be here Sun to help, so that will be fun and good to have a meatball sandwich with them Sunday night.

-Tony

Offline foreplease

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #61 on: December 16, 2017, 12:52:08 AM »
First, if anyone is following along and making these as I described above last year, the amout of onion I listed is too much if you start scaling this back up. I know from having made our sauce today that 4 oz of onion per #10 can is not going to scale up well for 18 cans (+ 2 cans diced pear tomatoes). Today I used 36 oz of yellow onion and it tasted right. It would have come to 72 oz, which is preposterous, if I had followed my own advice. I’m sure everyone here can figure out for themselves how much onion per # 10 can of tomatoes tastes good. I simply want to acknowledge that my recommendation last year was bad. 


Looking at my pile of ingredients last night and thinking about today’s timeline, I realized that I did not pick up any tomato juice yesterday. This morning I bought 3 46 oz cans and used all of it. I used no tomato paste this year nor the water that is mentioned in the recipe from last year. It cooked down enough that I was happy with the consistency and taste without paste. It may need water coming out of the fridge tomorrow. I’ll have to see then how it looks. Paste, and lots of it, will definitely be used in the meat mix Sunday.


A few pictures from today.





-Tony

Online Jackitup

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #62 on: December 16, 2017, 12:55:11 AM »
I'm hungry again........
Jon

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”            -Mark Twain

If you don't think you're getting what you should out of life.....maybe you're getting what you deserve       -the Root Beer Lady

Offline foreplease

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #63 on: December 16, 2017, 01:16:31 AM »
Parsley (above) I should have either chopped it by hand or used the belnder instead of the food processor. There was not enough volume for the food processor to do a good job. So I added about 1/2 cup water. Did the stems for several pulses before adding leaves. Carrots were processed to what I call the fluffy soft stage - no squared or straight edges. I find that ideal for what I am tring to do. Cut celery with a knife and did onions in processor.

Vegetables cooked down in a cup of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Garlic added last in a spot of olive oil in a well I make in the middle, then 3/4cup oregano rubbed between my palms. Smelled heavenly. I had a mess late afternoon with stock pot situation. Fortunatelty, a friend who owns a restaurant loaned me one, which allowed me to get all of this in 3 pans. At day’s end, I have 6 full hotel pans in garage fridge and 2 gallons in a container on the kitchn fridge. i grated 9 lbs cheese today, most of which is going in the meatball mix. I can probably prep everything else in an hour and another hour to clean it up. I might even wait until Sun morn.

Cleanup from this was a big job tonight. Started sauce 11:15, took a 45 min lunch, stopped at grocery store for tomato juice and again later for more oregano and bay leaves. Rest of the time was spent in our kitchen. It was a good day






« Last Edit: December 16, 2017, 08:26:47 AM by foreplease »
-Tony

Offline jkb

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #64 on: December 16, 2017, 05:43:02 AM »
I hope your wife doesn't react to this sort of thing like my wife does:

John

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Offline foreplease

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #65 on: December 16, 2017, 06:21:46 AM »
I hope your wife doesn't react to this sort of thing like my wife does:

She doesn’t like it but she understnds this time of year. I almost pulled that photo because of that spill/burn. What the hell though. It was approximately 160 lbs of sauce. 6-8 oz over several hours really makes a mess.  :)
-Tony

Offline Rolls

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #66 on: December 16, 2017, 10:32:22 AM »
Parsley (above) I should have either chopped it by hand or used the belnder instead of the food processor. There was not enough volume for the food processor to do a good job. So I added about 1/2 cup water. Did the stems for several pulses before adding leaves.

Whew! When I first saw the picture of the parsley stems separated from the leaves, I thought you were going to discard them. Now that I know they have been added to the mix all is well with the universe again.

Kudos for a great Christmas tradition.


Rolls
Getting old, memory is the second thing to go......Can't remember the first.

Offline foreplease

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #67 on: December 16, 2017, 11:27:01 AM »
Whew! When I first saw the picture of the parsley stems separated from the leaves, I thought you were going to discard them. Now that I know they have been added to the mix all is well with the universe again.

Kudos for a great Christmas tradition.


Rolls
Thanks Rolls. Funny :) Quite a bit more parsley goes in the meat. I have been persuaded the stems are sweet and well worth using.
-Tony

Offline thezaman

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #68 on: December 16, 2017, 01:27:30 PM »
are the peppers for stuffed peppers? how many people are you feeding?

Offline thezaman

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #69 on: December 16, 2017, 01:31:34 PM »
OK read post from the beginning if was on your list i would be a very happy person !!!

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Offline foreplease

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #70 on: December 16, 2017, 02:20:47 PM »
OK read post from the beginning if was on your list i would be a very happy person !!!
Thank you. It is a fun hobby gone awry lol.
-Tony

Offline quietdesperation

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #71 on: December 16, 2017, 06:23:40 PM »
thank you for bumping this with this year's images, great, great story. Not sure about the criteria for pinning a thread, but were I moderator, I'd like to keep this where everyone can see it.

in any case, Bravo Foreplease!
"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" - the hobbit, jrr tolkien

Offline foreplease

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #72 on: December 16, 2017, 07:07:30 PM »
Thank you kindly. Very nice of you.
-Tony

Offline foreplease

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #73 on: December 18, 2017, 12:23:24 AM »
Looking over my photos since the sauce was completed I will try not to be too repetitive.


Today was a really great family day. My oldest son, age 32, lives here in town and completed his MBA last weekend at Univ of Chicago. We had his son overnight last night (which was GREAT). When he and his wife arrived this morning I was finishing the prep work ahead of going to the butcher shop. Wishing I had thought of it days ago, I asked him if he wanted to go along with me. I have been to this place with each of my kids but none of them have gone along for the ‘grind and mix’ day. All three of my kids were out of the house by the time I started doing this at the butcher shop in 2007.


I am so happy he agreed to go with me. He enjoyed it and was surprised at the scope of the thing and how it came together in the end. And he was a lt of help. These things are 71% meat; when you start adding the other 29% to whole cuts of meat, it takes some work to get it all coated. We season pork and beef separately even though it is all one mixture when we finish. The main reason is I only run the pork through the grinder once but the beef gets two passes. So, we season and grind the beef. Season the pork. Mix half the ground beef in a tub with half the seasoned pork. Do the same with the other half. We run those two tubs through the grinder (with all the eggs, tomato paste, cheese, bread rumbs, etc) and catch it in two other tubs. It makes a mess. I clean up their back room as much as they let me, which isn’t a lot.


They have been extremely generous and kind to me over the years. I try to be loyal to them but don’t get there as often as I would like. This is an occasion type place for me, not a bargain place on a day to day basis. As a standalone day, this is a real lopsided transaction is what I am saying. I will not post here what they charged me but if it was double that most of us here would think it was quite fair. I always try to give them $100 cash after I have paid for the meat and they always tell me to give it to my grandkids :) Once, about 3 years ago, we were talking as they helped me carry my stuff out, said our good-byes and I drove off without remembering to pay them. They forgot about that step too. I called them and apologized about halfway home and told them I was turning around to take care of it. The guy told me to get my ass home and I could pay him in a couple days when I brought their package of meatballs back. Today I heard him tell two customers on the phone that Tony was here making meatballs and they could stop down later in the week to have a couple. After he got off the second call he told me it wouldn’t seem like Christmas anymore if I stopped doing this there. Crazy. Funny too because, I like to say. People don’t like me right away  :-D [size=78%] [/size]


When we got home, my wife, daughter, and daughter-in-law had pans greased and ovens on. They knocked out 5 pans of 35 before we all had dinner together. I wish I had taken a picture of the sandwiches. It was crazy busy. We had one of my wife’s friends join us and our two young grandkids were ready to eat. I got 2 more pans done after dinner and spent considerable time figuring out how to get all this food under refrigeration for the night.


Kind of a rambling post. Here are a couple photos. I’ll look over what I posted last year. If I have anything new or interesting I may post them later. I think it would be repetitive at this point though.





-Tony

Online Jackitup

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #74 on: December 18, 2017, 12:45:50 AM »
When we were heavy into making brats and summer sausage we would typically make 400-500 pounds of it, AND smoke it and wrap........it's a ton of work, my back and neck are weeping for you!!! :o ;)
Jon

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”            -Mark Twain

If you don't think you're getting what you should out of life.....maybe you're getting what you deserve       -the Root Beer Lady

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Offline foreplease

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #75 on: December 18, 2017, 01:02:07 AM »
Thanks Jon. You may be interested in knowing I changed how I hamdled the garlic this year after discussing it with you and a couple others. For the first time, i sauteed it in about 1/2 cup of olive oil. Having that musch liquid made it easier to distrinute theoughout the mix. What I am really hoping for is for the garlic to not get so offensive a couple days after incorporatng it imto the mix. So far so good. Still went with 18 cloves (1.6 oz) but hoping a for more mellow and consistent result.


Regarding stickies as quietdesperation nicely mentioned, I am someone who feels the large number we already have make it somewhat awkward to navogate some topics. Many of the ones chosen to be permanent top of topic posts are more intueresting and more helpful to a wider ramge of people than this topic is.
-Tony

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #76 on: December 18, 2017, 01:48:24 AM »
Thanks Jon. You may be interested in knowing I changed how I hamdled the garlic this year after discussing it with you and a couple others. For the first time, i sauteed it in about 1/2 cup of olive oil. Having that musch liquid made it easier to distrinute theoughout the mix. What I am really hoping for is for the garlic to not get so offensive a couple days after incorporatng it imto the mix. So far so good. Still went with 18 cloves (1.6 oz) but hoping a for more mellow and consistent result.


Regarding stickies as quietdesperation nicely mentioned, I am someone who feels the large number we already have make it somewhat awkward to navogate some topics. Many of the ones chosen to be permanent top of topic posts are more intueresting and more helpful to a wider ramge of people than this topic is.

Actually I was wondering! Hope it works for the better, should be much more predictable that way, more nutty, less pungent. If you need to adjust up, add some granulated garlic!
Jon

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”            -Mark Twain

If you don't think you're getting what you should out of life.....maybe you're getting what you deserve       -the Root Beer Lady

Offline wotavidone

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #77 on: December 18, 2017, 02:54:47 PM »
If you need to adjust up, add some granulated garlic!
Granulated garlic? :o Someone smack that man's fingers! :)
What an inspiring thread.
The pictures of the sauce are causing me to crave my mate's mother's stuffed capsicums.
The capsicums were stuffed with veal among other things, and were delicious, but it was the sauce that was truly special.
A couple years ago we dropped into see her (a 500 mile round trip, it so doesn't happen every day) and I told her how much I missed them.
So Eve rattled off the recipe while I scribbled hastily on the back of an envelope.
Then she dropped a bombshell - she never liked them at all, in fact couldn't stand them!!
Apparently she only made them because us kids and her late husband loved them

Mick

Offline foreplease

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #78 on: December 18, 2017, 03:38:11 PM »
That is a good story, wotavidone! Good screen name too  :)  Thhanks for your kind words.
-Tony

Offline foreplease

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Re: Our Meatball Tradition
« Reply #79 on: December 18, 2017, 03:42:09 PM »
Peppers are here. The meatballs we have finished so far are being held in big containers. Once I bet some of these peppers fried we can package some of this stuff and hand it out. We need the space in the refrigerators for sure.

-Tony

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