Sunday, February 13, 2011

Meatballs don't need to be slow cooked.

Today was an inspirational experience for me. I went downstairs to elliptical (just some basic intervals), and couldn't find my sports bra. I looked through the dryer, the washer, the baskets of clean (and dirty) clothes, and came up with nothing. So I grabbed a towel instead, and headed to my shower, smiling to myself and thinking 'oh well, what difference is missing one day gonna make?'

Then I thought about how I hadn't run on Friday, or on Saturday. I felt slightly guilty, but hey, I was busy both days, and there just hadn't been time. And then I realized if I skipped today I'd be my third day off. And then I thought about what a easy thing it would be to just stop running altogether and go back to lazing around everyday. And then suddenly it was easy to go find a bra, and went and did my running for the day.

It's interesting to think how easy it'd be to stop trying to lose weight. But I am too vain for that.

The rest of my weekend was not nearly as inspirational. If anything, it was a little disappointing. I may not have done a full year of cooking in my slow cooker, but I think my friends might say that I get overly excited when I get to use mine. It feels like lazy cooking: do a little work, then sit around and smell the food cooking all day, and bask in compliments when it turns out well. What part of that doesn't sound great?

So when some of my friends were getting together over this weekend, I decided that I wanted to cook. I had been craving meatball subs all week, and seeing as it was a group of guys, I figured they'd be more than happy to have some simple subs. But I didn't want to be cooking while we were hanging out, so I had the genius idea to make them in the slow cooker.

I don't think anyone was surprised by this turn of events.

But since we were meeting at someone's parent's house, they suggested I doubled the recipe so we could offer his parents dinner as well. And we all agreed that yes, we definitely had to do that, because it'd be rude to use their kitchen without offering them any food. After some more minor debates about how many meatballs I could expect each of them to eat (I was assured that it was more than I thought they could), we decided that just doubling the recipe would be the best way to go. As I was standing in the grocery store, holding four pounds of meat, I thought to myself, 'Wow, 4 pounds of meat to feed maybe 10 people?' I probably should have thought it through a little more.

My first concern came when I finished putting all the tomato and onion and garlic in the slow cooker, and realized there was no way that it could possibly hold that much sauce and four pounds of meat. It also looked awfully thin. But it smelled good, and I just turned it on and let it go for four hours. Then when I came back, I admitted defeat. There was no way four pounds of meatballs would fit in my slow cooker, as big as it was.

We transferred it to a bigger slow cooker, and I plopped the meatballs in, pleased that they (barely) fit. What I didn't think about was that this new crock pot wasn't warm at all. It took it an hour to warm up, and by then everyone was starving and the meatballs were nowhere near cooked. So we transfered everything to a big pot and just boiled them for 10 minutes, and then feasted. And boiled some canned pasta sauce because mine was just too thin to put on subs.

The meatballs tasted fine. But the experience was certainly saddening. This was yet another 'I'd like to try this again because I messed up' recipes. I'm collecting far too many of those.

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