As this new year gets underway, I am not surprised to find myself in the middle of my annual task of out with the old, in with the new. After all of the holiday decor was packed away, I felt somewhat intoxicated by the liberation that de-cluttering brings. So I extended the frenzy to include my closet(twice), my kitchen cabinets and my freezer, just to name a few. There is a sense of accomplishment and general feeling of ease when my home is in order. It feels less heavy, if that makes sense.
The other day as I was still chasing around errant bits of glitter with my vacuum, I realized how symbolic the process actually is and how it relates to other aspects of my life. The process of removing the clutter reaches far beyond the holiday decor and unused kitchen utensils, and my “home” is more than just my four walls. Removing the clutter is a metaphor for so much more. If anything is sitting in a corner or on a closet shelf fulfilling no purpose, lacking benefit or otherwise taking up space, it needs to go. It’s the less-is-more principle applied to every aspect of my life.
So you may be asking yourself, what does all of this have to do with an appetizer meatball? Well, it is what came to mind as I was preparing them and thinking about how food is so inextricably linked to our daily lives, metaphorically speaking in this case. And just as a meatball is a product of various different parts brought together, combining for a common purpose, so are all of the bits of clutter I no longer need. They are both brought together, rolled up and taken away. And they both satisfy, just on different levels.
This recipe is borrowed from my neighbor Barbara, who got it from the December/January 1996 issue of Taste of Home. These meatballs are the quintessential pot luck or game-day food. They travel well, everyone loves them and they are perfectly at home in Crock Pot. Better still, these meatballs are best made ahead and reheated.
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
For the sauce:
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine ingredients for the meatballs and mix well. Shape into 1-inch balls. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the meatballs and drain on paper towel-lined baking sheet. Combine ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
Place meatballs into a 2-1/2 quart baking dish. Pour sauce over meatballs. Bake uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes or until meatballs are done. Makes about 3 dozen.