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August 17, 2014

MRI’s & Meatballs

by Brendan

This past Monday, August 11, I had my regularly-scheduled MRI.   I was anxious about it for weeks, since in August of 2012 my regularly-scheduled MRI showed a little spot that apparently hadn’t been on my brain before.  And the quick follow-up in November 2012 showed the same spot, same size — so Dr. Amdur said don’t worry, we’ll go back on the regular schedule, see you in a year and a half.

Which brings us to last Monday.  Executive summary, the spot is still there, still tiny (1 millimeter), the doc is still not worried, and he gave me an A+.

So that anxiety is over, an anxiety which many friends helped me with — the people in my recovery community, and other friends, were very supportive, and their support was helpful, helpful.


And on to Meatballs — no, not the Bill Murray movie of that name.  Last week I texted my daughter Rebecca, to the effect that my life is great except that I don’t get to see you very often.  She texted back, almost immediately, will you teach me how to make meatballs?

Of course I will — meatballs in the style of Rose Pieters, my mom and her grandmother, with a little tweaking of the process that I’ve added over the years since mom and I cooked together (which was one of our favorite things to do over the years — somehow or other, mom and I just connected in the kitchen, laughed a lot, got good food cooked).  I don’t often make my own meatballs from scratch, though, ’cause it’s a lotta trouble, so I wimp out and buy frozen meatballs or the ones the Publix butchers make.

But yesterday’s meatball seminar with Becca started out with ground chuck, ground turkey, Jimmy Dean sausage, Vigo breadcrumbs, chopped garlic, onions, spices, and a cornucopia of stuff we tossed in from the refrigerator and cabinets: ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, worcestershire sauce, and of course black pepper and oregano (lots of oregano).

Rebecca Pieters Performing at High Dive

Rebecca Pieters Performing at High Dive

Having mixed everything together, Becca and I dove in, got our hands dirty, made about 30 meatballs — some got cooked in a cast-iron pan on the stovetop (opportunity for a lesson in seasoning a cast-iron pan and a consideration of the question, why use a cast-iron pan at all).  The bulk of the meatballs got baked in the oven, turned once.  Both batches came out a little burnt, but Becca and I like them a bit burnt.  And, as a good carpenter hides his mistakes, I pointed out to her that if the meatballs simmered in a red sauce for a few hours, they’d look less burnt.

She brought her spiralizer, some zucchini, some yellow squash, so we had zoodles and squoodles, along with fettucine, with our meatballs.  And I’m having leftovers tonight– all in all, a very successful meatball seminar — hope I know how to cook something else that she’d like to learn to do.

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