Thursday, August 26, 2010

delicious sadness

I remember a time early in my married life when Hopson & I didn't have 2 pennies to rub together.  He was a brand new CPA & low man on the totem pole at one of the big 6 firms.  Roughly that means he was slave labor.  There were weeks when he worked 7 days a week for 10-12 hours a day.  We were on a very tight budget, and I was always looking for ways to stretch the food I bought.  This is not a sob story, I'm an Auburn girl, and 'I believe in work, hard work'.  War Eagle to all my AU peeps, but I'm digressing.

Little Hopson, I will call him Hop or Hoppy from here on out, was almost 2, I was pregnant with baby number 2, Harry, and we were about to be hit with news that would change my life forever. We were excited to be going on our 1st family vacation, thanks to Ashley & Jim Moss for letting us tag along with them to the beach.  Being pregnant, I didn't sleep very much, and found an interesting cookbook at the beach house.  It was the Taste Alabama Tradition II; a cookbook by The American Cancer Society; Alabama Division, Inc. 

Once you've had a family member die from cancer, you almost do a double take when ever you see or hear that horrible word; so, I noticed the cookbook when I saw who it is by & wondered what's in it.  I start flipping through it, because, as you know from 'Peppa Chicken' I love to read cookbooks, and I come across an interesting recipe.  It's called Porcupines.  I liked it immediately!  No fancy ingredients, nothing too hard, it's perfect. 

I have done some variations of it over the years & have shared it with many on the go moms.  I'm going to list my children's favorite version 1st & then the original will be listed below.

The ending of our 1st family vacation was not what we wanted it to be.  We had to leave the beach the day after we arrived.  We were devastated because we found out my mother had melanoma, and we didn't know it yet, but it had already started to metastasize.  She lived for 1 1/2 years more & passed away December 30th of 1997. (big Hopson's birthday & the day before Harry's 1st birthday.)  It was a very rough time, but I always remembered when I found this recipe & am happy that from something so sad came something my family loves.

Be blessed beyond measure,

I'm going to give you a 'small' version of the recipe, if you have big eaters like I do, you will need to double it.

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 can Franco American beef gravy
1-1 1/2 cups Italian dressing
1 cup beef broth
a couple of dashes Worcestershire sauce
minced garlic

preheat oven to 350
mix ground beef & rice in a bowl.  shape individual meatballs & place in baking dish
in a sauce pan over medium heat mix gravy, Italian dressing, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and minced garlic.
cook to just boiling, don't let it boil or it will scorch
once mixture is heated, pour over meatballs
cover with tinfoil & cook in preheated oven for 1 hour

the original recipe taken from Taste of Alabama Tradition II
1 pound group beef
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

mix ground beef, rice, onion, slat & pepper.  Shape into meatballs
combine undiluted soup, water & Worcestershire sauce in saucepan.  heat just to boiling.
pour sauce over meatballs.
cover with tinfoil & bake at 350 for 1 1/4 hours, or until rice is tender, baste occasionally with sauce, if desired.

1 comment:

  1. I remember the phone call well. I believe it was late summer 1996. I am going to LOVE your blog because many of my "go to" recipes have come straight from you. Check out the front page of the HEALTH section of the newspaper today. Ashley


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