Tag Archives: Cooking

OMG, It’s Monday! Prayer: Little Things Count, Especially If They’re Cheap and Yummy

O Lord, You know that when our daughters married I tucked my sweet-and-sour recipe into their new recipe boxes. Recently, a mom on Facebook recognized I’d given it to her as a bride, too, and her kids love it. OMG, I’m learning: meatballs aren’t a profound theological contribution to others’ lives, but little goodnesses can make a difference.

*Sweet-and-Sour Sauce for Chicken, Pork, or Meatballs

When using 1½ lbs. chicken or pork, I cook the chopped meat with one sliced onion in oil. Set aside.

When using meatballs, mix:

  • 1 ½ lb. ground beef
  • 2/3 c. cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 c. chopped onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ t. salt
  • 1 ½ t. garlic powder
  • ¼ t. ginger
  • ¼ c. milk 

Form meatballs and cook in oil in skillet. Set aside.

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 1 can (13½ oz.) pineapple tidbits, drained (reserve juice)
  • 1/3 c. vinegar
  • 1 T. soy sauce

Mix dry ingredients, then add reserved juice, vinegar, and soy sauce. Cook in skillet over medium heat, stirring until mixture thickens. Add pineapple.

To sweet-and-sour chicken or pork, I add 1 tart apple, sliced, and stir until crisp-tender. 1/3 c. bell pepper (green, red, etc.), chopped, can also be added to any of the recipes. 

Add meat and stir until heated through. Serve over rice. Serves 4-6, depending on whether your household includes big eaters. Enjoy!

*Based on Waikiki Meatballs Recipe, Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, 1975

Sweet, Burning Hunk of Barbecue Love

Visiting the South a few years ago, we sought to sample its bodacious barbecue. So we braved Saturday night kill-the-Yankees traffic to find Blaze’s Piggy Pit.

Homemade posters taped to its front windows warmed our hearts. We had not arrived at a restaurant that demanded we share an appetizer and a dessert, the kind John Steinbeck said took pride in serving food untouched by human hands. Instead, the signs shouted all-you-can-eat nights. A picture of Mr. Blaze himself adorned one window — wearing a suit and tie fit to make his mama proud, with a tortured smile to match.

The poster said he was running for mayor.

What better way to please his public than to cook up the world’s best barbecue?

Inside, I poofed my ’do because big hair and hardworking blue jeans obviously were required. The dining room smelled yummy-in-the-tummy-smoky, as it does at a family reunion cookout, when Mom tells you to go play with your cousins until supper’s ready.

The waitress, upon greeting Casey Jack and Junior Lee by name, skipped menus. She handed them shovels and steered them toward the barbecue and fish bar.

Bankrupting the Piggy Pit on our first visit wouldn’t be neighborly. So my husband ordered a slab of ribs, and I selected pulled pork. With our first bites, my husband closed his eyes. My taste buds fell in love. We paused for a moment of silence.

Then Hubby proceeded to ruin the family name. Even a Yankee knows a true barbecue connoisseur picks up ribs. Instead, my husband not only used knife and fork, he surgically removed every shred of gristle and/or fat.

Barbecue blasphemy.

Mayoral race or not, it’s a wonder Mr. Blaze didn’t toss us out of the Piggy Pit.

Fortunately, he kept too busy to notice. No suit and tie tonight. He wore jeans and a T-shirt. He and his poofy-haired mama called us “honey,” and did we “want more sweet tea, darlin’?”

I ordered cheesecake for dessert. Steve overdosed on pecan cobbler, suffering sugar-induced hallucinations.

However, we turned down complimentary golf cart service that hauled blimpy customers to their cars. I am proud to say we walked out of the Piggy Pit on our own two feet.

Does Mr. Blaze know about tax rates and sewer systems? I don’t know. Still, anyone who bestows that kind of barbecue on mankind — plus infinite hush puppies — for a reasonable price must be a man of mayoral vision, with deep concern for friends, neighbors and even hungry Yankees.

Definitely a winner, in my (burp) book.

 

When (and where) was the last time you ate bodacious barbecue?