Swedish Meatballs

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Ever since we found a school that would finally admit my 4 year old into Pre-K, two days ago, I found myself having a little bit more time on my hands with just one kid to take care of all day. Bon bons and soap operas here I come, no not really, but it does make things a little easier here at home. Here is a picture of the two troublemakers for the record:

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Awwww how adorab-ok moving on.

I had a craving for Ikea meatballs but I didn’t feel like driving into the city of Atlanta and ending up with over $200 of furniture items I didn’t really need from spur of the moment erratic purchasing (because that is what happens when you get sucked into the Ikea). So I went to my local Kroger and bought some ingredients and combined, altered, tweaked, and modified various recipes to Frankenstein my own recipe for Swedish meatballs.

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Swedish Meatballs

(makes approx. 40 meatballs)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 slices bread with crusts removed
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 7 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion, grated or finely minced
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • corn oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream (optional)
  • handful of chopped parsley (for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Rip bread into tiny pieces, place in a small bowl and soak in milk for ten minutes or until all the milk is absorbed.
  2. In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter with 2 Tbsp. oil, and sauté onions on medium heat until softened.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, beef, cooked onions, salt, pepper, eggs, nutmeg and bread.
  4. Roll meatballs to the size of golf balls, set on baking sheet. Wet your hands with water in between rolling to prevent meatballs from getting too sticky.
  5. Heat corn oil (1/2 inch in depth) to medium high heat in large skillet. Brown meatballs, 2 minutes on each side, flipping carefully with tongs or spatula. Meatballs don’t need to be cooked thru in this process (they will cook thru when simmering in sauce later). Set browned meatballs on a clean baking sheet.
  6. Melt 5 Tbsp. butter in cleaned large skillet. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour, stir for 3 minutes or until flour doesn’t smell raw anymore. Whisk in beef stock, a half cup at a time between whisking (to prevent sauce from clumping up). Let it heat to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes until thickened. Add soy sauce and cider vinegar, and salt to taste. I added between 1-2 tsp. salt because I used low-sodium broth.
  7. Add meatballs and simmer until cooked thru. This took me approx. 10 minutes. Check a meatball by cutting through to make sure it’s brown in the center. Then eat it. You know….to check if it needs salt.
  8. Right before serving, stir in sour cream. This step is optional, and adds an extra creaminess to the sauce. Sprinkle some chopped parsley on top, so it looks like you are eating some vegetables.
  9. Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

Notes: Using a food processor to combine the meat mixture would’ve been ideal, and I would definitely recommend doing it if you aren’t grating your onions before adding to the meat.

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Directions with pictures

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Rip bread into tiny pieces, place in a small bowl,

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and soak in milk for ten minutes or until all the milk is absorbed.

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I decided to show how to cut an onion in case anyone was interested. I was asked this question a few times so here it is. First, cut the ends off the onion so it can sit level on the cutting board. Now you know to cut the onion right in half on the correct side. Next, place the onion (newly cut side down) and slice thin slices. Lastly, turn the cutting board 90 degrees so you can chop all the slices into tiny squares. Repeat with the other half of the onion. Then chop some more if you need to mince it finely.

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In a large skillet, melt 2 Tbsp. butter with 2 Tbsp. oil, and sauté onions on medium heat until softened.

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In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, beef, cooked onions, salt, pepper, eggs, nutmeg and bread.

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Roll meatballs to the size of golf balls, set on baking sheet. Wet your hands with water in between rolling to prevent meatballs from getting too sticky.

You can tell I sort of got impatient (and a little sloppy) towards the end.

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Heat corn oil (1/2 inch in depth) to medium high heat in large skillet. Brown meatballs, 2 minutes on each side, flipping carefully with tongs or spatula.

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Meatballs don’t need to be cooked thru in this process (they will cook thru when simmering in sauce later).

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Set browned meatballs on a clean baking sheet.

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Melt 5 Tbsp. butter in cleaned large skillet. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour, stir for 3 minutes or until flour doesn’t smell raw anymore. Whisk in beef stock, a half cup at a time between whisking (to prevent sauce from clumping up). Let it heat to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes until thickened. Add soy sauce and cider vinegar, and salt to taste. I added between 1-2 tsp. salt because I used low-sodium broth.

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Add meatballs and simmer until cooked thru. This took me approx. 10 minutes. Check a meatball by cutting through to make sure it’s brown in the center. Then eat it. You know….to check if it needs salt.

I ate two just to be extra sure.

Right before serving, stir in sour cream. This step is optional, and adds an extra creaminess to the sauce. Sprinkle some chopped parsley on top, so it looks like you are eating some vegetables.

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My children, in utter agony of seeing something different for dinner, didn’t touch this. Then again, I wouldn’t use their judgment because they sometimes put things like play-doh and crayons in their mouths. Then they freak out seeing a speck of parsley or sliver of an onion. My husband ate 3 plates so I would say it has his approval.

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Enjoy!

The most thankless job in the world.

Once a week, as I’m scrubbing the shower grout with a special brush specifically for grout (being neurotic as I am I found a grout brush), I wonder if anyone notices what I’m doing, or cares. If I was gone, would the shower just mildew and get moldy? Would anyone notice and then decide to clean it? And if they did try to clean it, would they know that only bleach could remove the mold? And that if they let it go without cleaning for more than a few weeks, the mildew and mold would build up again?

Many times through many years, I would be scrubbing or cleaning something, and my husband would come in and say, “that isn’t important right now, we need to do this instead.” As if every task I have to maintain a good house and healthy kids isn’t important. Instead of a “thanks for doing the laundry today honey” I get a “that laundry is already clean, you’re just wasting time folding it now.” Yet, if I don’t do it, no one else will.

If anyone wonders these two following questions, I’ve got the answers to them. #1 – Do moms just sit around eating bon bons and watch soap operas all day? NO (I don’t know what bon bons are, and I think I watch around 30 min. – 1 hour or TV per week). And #2 – What DO moms do all day when they stay home? Well here is a handy list that I’ve taken the effort to write out so everyone can understand clearly what we do all day.

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I just thought of a few more things I forgot to add on this list. Oh well.

Of course, I will get a lot of flak from writing this instead of all the thank yous I should be getting/expecting/will never receive. And a lot of technicalities that I don’t give two craps about. Like, how my husband will probably think more of these tasks should say ‘split’ instead of my taking full credit for them. Well, thing is, it’s split if close to 50/50 as possible, not if he wipes the countertop or fills the dishwasher once every two weeks.

I’m not going to go overboard and call myself CEO of my own house with multiple jobs descriptions like chauffeur, chef, nanny, teacher, etc. and say what I do is worth over 100k a year. I just want a damn thank you once in awhile. If I agreed to stay at home while the kids are babies/toddlers, and I try to keep things running as smoothly as possible, instead of being looked at as someone who is worthless, who does tasks around the house which are pointless in their eyes, some f*cking appreciation would be great.

My father recently went on a tangent about how women shouldn’t be allowed to curse and that only men are allowed to. So I’ve been throwing around curse words a lot more often for some reason. But at least I made it classy on the blog by using an asterisk.

Picture fragile, tiny baby fingernails. Who clips those things when they become daggers, doing so with the utmost precision like a brain surgeon to avoid chopping off the baby’s skin? Well, I have. No one else (including spouse and family members) have ever attempted to do so. I have cut my kids fingernails for almost 4 years now. Nobody else has the balls to even try to (they claim their eyes aren’t as good as they used to be, or simply just ‘don’t want to’ or “don’t like it.” I wish I could use excuses like that for everything I need to do around here. I wish I could just say “I don’t like doing that” and just never do it. It would be SO EASY if tasks were just options and not necessities.

There are so many things I do because they just need to be done. It’s not like I ENJOY scrubbing toilets. I do it because it’s dirty. Of course I don’t like doing it. Who does?

I don’t stay at home because I love doing everything that needs to be done here. I do it because I think it’s the best thing for our family for now. Finishing these tasks are a necessity. I wish others treated these tasks the same way too.

If anyone out there reading has multiple kids, you know how exhausting it is to get two kids ready in the morning, brushing teeth, hair, changing clothes, using the potty, changing diapers, feeding breakfast, packing the diaper bag, lugging them to the car, strapping them into car seats, driving to your destination with them whining/crying, staying at your destination for the allotted time before they get too tired and have meltdowns or are hungry, lug/carry them to your parked car, and drive home. And I do it every f*cking day. And my husband has never took both kids out in public by himself ever, and refuses to. Because it’s hard. If it is really that hard, I should get an award.

And why do I do it? I don’t do it because I’m a martyr. I hate the way people throw that name around so freely anytime a mother (spouse) does anything for her (their) children. I do it because the kids need to get out, to socialize, to run errands in public and learn how to behave in the outside world. I also do it to save our sanity, so we aren’t cooped up inside our house. I do it to get their energy out so hopefully they sleep better at night. There are many, many days where I just want to lay on the couch and do nothing. I hate going out in public most of the time. I do it because it’s good for them, whether I like to or not. And whenever I tell someone how much I do, and how I just want a thank you or to be appreciated, it comes out sounding whining, nagging, or ‘being a martyr’. That isn’t fair to spouses who stay at home. Calling someone a martyr is a way to try to shut someone up so you don’t have to appreciate them. To make them feel embarrassed, ashamed, or stupid in demanding appreciation. I hear so many spouses afraid of demanding appreciation because they don’t want to come off as that type of person. But people deserve respect and should receive it.

I feel like this is why so many spouses (I’m saying spouses now instead of moms) daydream of just abandoning their family, hop in their car and drive far, far away to start a new life. Of course, we don’t really do it, but we’ve all daydreamed about it. I daydream about my drive, radio blasting, hair blowing in wind (because I suddenly own a convertible), thinking to myself, once the house is a mess, and no one knows how to cook, clean, run errands, or pick up a toilet brush for years at a time, they’ll be sad that I’m gone, I’ll say bitterly, followed by a maniacal laugh.

One day I imagine one of my daughters, or my husband to ask me how I get the tub or shower to sparkle so much, and ask me what kind of cleaner I use. Then I will finally see that they recognized all the hard work I did for all those years. Recognition. Respect. Appreciation. Maybe even an award for doing all the thankless tasks around the house, made with yogurt lids, glitter and glue.

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