The care and feeding of a teenager

November 16, 2010

All four food groups, and he'll eat it, too!

Here is how you make a 15-year-old boy happy:

This would be a meatball sandwich. With grated mozzarella, on Italian bread. NS is a happy camper.

Plus, I have a quickie dinner in the fridge for whenever I don’t want to cook this week, because there ain’t no use in making up just enough meatballs and sauce for a sandwich, if one could even do such, which I don’t think one can. So we can circle the sauce and meatballs back around again, either in another sandwich, or over pasta.

Versatility, thy name is Italy.

The meatballs sprang from my error in defrosting a package of ground PJF pork as well as a pound of PJF beef, the other day when I was going to make two pounds worth of burgers. I cursed, snatched another pound of beef out of the freezer, defrosted it in the microwave enough to scrape off about a third of it, so I had enough for four burgers, and stashing the frozen remains in the fridge to finish a leisurely thaw. Along with the already-mostly-thawed pork.

So tonight, I squished together about 2/3 of a pound of beef and a pound of pork, added some tomato paste, an egg, some cracker crumbs, some garlic powder, some onion powder, some basil, a touch of thyme and some oregano. Showed NS how to make a meatball and put him to work whilst I started on the sauce.

My marinara sauce may take off in a different direction now and again, but it always starts out the same — a diced onion, 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, and olive oil. Then a big glop of tomato paste when the veggies are soft. Then about half a cup of red wine.

Tonight, from that point (after sauteeing the sauce until it darkened a bit, and simmering the wine until it no longer smelled raw), I added two 28-oz cans of petite diced tomatos, some basil, some oregano, some red pepper flakes, and a parmesan rind I had hanging about the fridge. A little later on, I tasted and decided it wanted something, so I hit it with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Pretty damn good, if I do say so myownself.

That said, and my stomach still being somewhat on the iffy side (I don’t know what that damn bug was, but I damn-sho’ don’t want any more of it!), I had wine and cheese because I didn’t feel like meatballs. (Didn’t look much like a meatball, either, I don’t think.)

So this is how you make a Mama happy:

OK, it's only two food groups. Get over it. Grownup privilege.

The cheeses were Uniekaas Robusto, something I lost the label for (but I think it was Dubliner white cheddar), and raw sheep’s milk cheese from PJF, which is about like nectar of the gods.  The wine is Menage a’ Trois, a blended red. The pickles are bread and butter — oops, there’s another food group! I’m up to three!

Hit the spot.

As did the lunch I had at the Culinary District, where I had a bowl of soup and a salad. Today’s soup was an apple-rutabaga-butternut squash, which was just excellent. The salad was the always excellent mixed greens with toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, and orange vanilla viniagrette, and that stuff is SO good anway.

The soup was thick and mildly sweet, very rich, savory undertones. It tasted like fall, and sitting indoors by a fireplace while it rains outside. I still think I want to marry that cook, who allowed he was about to start on mushroom soup for tomorrow. I may have to make a return visit.

Still contemplating T’giving dinner. The crowd keeps shrinking. We may be down to three. Almost seems a waste to cook, but I know I will. I may go out and scoop up unsuspecting passers-by on the street and feed them.

Meanwhile, you and y’mama ‘n ’em enjoy your evening. I’m going to enjoy my wine and go to bed early.

One Response to “The care and feeding of a teenager”

  1. Len Cleavelin Says:

    Meatball sammich looks good, though I mistook the shredded mozzarella for sauerkraut (so I did the sauerkraut/potato/smoked sausage recipe you forwarded me (on last New Year’s Day) about a week or so ago, thereby priming my brain for kraut; so sue me).

    The mistaking of cheese for kraut does have me wondering what to do with the leftover kraut from the two pound bag (since I used about 1.5 of that for the kraut dish). I’m actually contemplating hot dogs with kraut on top maybe, or something equally plebeian. 🙂

    Two words for you: Reuben sandwiches.

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