Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Swedish Meatballs and Irritability

I am now on a quest to obtain my Aunt Esther's Swedish meatball recipe. She was Swedish, she married a Swede, and I know she made Swedish meatballs. 

Over the weekend, my husband and I drove to the Big City and found the Big Blue Store, where we were herded like cattle through the maze of clutter. I'm not sure why people find this enjoyable. I'll have to admit that the prices are better than many retail outlets, but the fact that there are big directional arrows painted on the floor and everyone seems to be directed by some unspoken entity to walk in the same direction does not appeal to me in the least. I felt like I was being managed (I have an aversion to that sort of thing) and that if I dared go against the flow of traffic, there might be a loud siren and flashing lights as someone quickly arrived to give me a traffic ticket - or haul me off to a labor camp.  It was not an auspicious beginning.

Then we had lunch. What I was told were Swedish meatballs tasted to me like spherical hot dogs. I couldn't believe that anyone really likes those things. So while my husband was eating a huge portion of 'meatballs' which we had planned to share, I ate an entire piece of fudge, disguised as chocolate cake (which we had also planned to share). I was annoyed, because I hadn't wanted any gravy on my meatballs or potatoes (because most gravy has poison in it and it's usually easier to avoid it than to ask questions and get weird looks), yet it all happened so fast that someone had already poured gravy on the potatoes before we could wrench it out of her hand and avoid getting gravy on the meatballs.  But one taste of the meatballs and it was all over for me anyway. Spongey, hot-doggie weirdness. My mouth immediately knew it was a foreign object that should not be ingested.

You're right. My husband puts up with a lot. But he doesn't seem to have any food sensitivities or allergies except for Bing cherries which make his lips numb. But that's another story.

Now we had a situation in which I not only had no protein for lunch, but had substituted a huge dose of sugar for the protein. I know, this was really stupid. But my choice had been between a three-day headache or a half-day headache. In reality, there was a third option, but that would have required being rational going to the back of a long line. I was in no shape to be making decisions. Result? After about 20 minutes I had the headache, was depressed, irritable, and simply wanted to go home. OR find a large Barnes & Noble, a comfortable, quiet place where one could take refuge in chocolate and coffee, magazines and books.

We went home.

Yes, this is very predictable. 

Moral of the story?

a) Always carry a protein bar in my purse in case of emergencies. (I usually do)
b) Always eat before getting hungry.
b) I shouldn't have let Aunt Esther pass from this world without getting her Swedish meatball recipe. 
c) Use the Big Blue Store for a fun stroll through a retail business, but don't go there when I'm actually on a quest to find certain items on a list.
d) Remember to tell Kevin OFTEN how much I appreciate him.
e) I'm not kidding about Kevin. He is a good man! 
f) Tell my friends OFTEN how much I appreciate them.

Be sure to enter my 5-Bar Handcrafted Soap'n'Such Giveaway. Ends Friday, November 18 at 10 PM.

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Marti said...

Family recipes are so valuable. Weird person that I am, whenever I have visited relatives, I headed for their recipe box, helped them make the meal, and asked a bunch of questions about food. The result besides a bunch of ticked off relatives is a collection of recipes that I am making into a journal book--things like corn cob jelly, and schmeerkugen.

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

I do not know what this big blue store is, but I am very much like you..If there are arrows on the floor telling me where to go, I WILL be the one going the other way. No doubt about it. (Pray for my husband, he is a good man that puts up with a rebellious wife).

My question is this....When you get the recipe, will you be sharing it? *hint hint*

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Oh goodness! When we go there, we NEVER eat their food (other then an occasional cinnamon roll)! Our plan is to go either before lunch or after and then have a meal at Sweet Tomatoes next door! Which is so so much better!

I think we have a reciepe for Swedish Meatballs, not sure if it is authentic. I will pass it on.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cranberry Morning,

I am Swedish and have a recipe for you :) I prefer the home made ones best, but as living here in Ireland we go to Ikea at times :)

Try this recipe ;)



1 2/3 cups milk
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Dash pepper
1 pound ground round
2 teaspoons butter
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cold water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk


Combine 2/3 cup evaporated milk, onion, crumbs, salt, allspice and pepper. Add meat; mix well, chill. Shape meat mixture into 1-in. balls. In large skillet, brown meatballs in butter. Dissolve bouillon cubes in boiling water; pour over meatballs and bring to boil over medium heat. Cover; simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, blend together cold water and flour. Remove meatballs from skillet, skim fat from pan juices and reserve juices. Stir 1 cup evaporated milk and flour/water mixture into pan juices in skillet; cook, uncovered, over low heat, stirring until sauce thickens. Return meatballs to skillet. Stir in lemon juice. Serve with boiled potatoes and preferably with a little red berry (lingon) jam.

Rachel said...

Thank you for your sweet words yesterday on my blog post!! God is amazing to have brought His children together to talk about Him, even if it's through the internet.

If you find the perfect Swedish meatball recipe, let me know!! :) I had some one time that were really good, I should have asked for it.

Kevin does sound amazing, y'all are lucky to have each other!!

Be blessed!

Midwest to Midlands said...

Strange as it seems when I first moved here and felt any homesickness, the food section at IKEA would make me feel better because it was foods I was familiar with. The retail foods though, not those awful meatballs they serve, I was soooo disappointed in them too. Funny though I am going to IKEA tomorrow!! I won't eat there, I'll go to Starbucks and have a frapaccino, but I might get some Swedish Fish.
Sounds like some readers will send you a recipe, but if you are still in need let me know and I will send you one.

Cranberry Morning said...

Thanks everyone! And I will try your recipe, Eva. Keep posted for the great Swedish Meatball Review. lol

I need to hear more about Sweet Tomatoes. Fun name!

IKEA is in England? Then again, if my choice was between IKEA meatballs or bangers and mash... ;-)

Ruth Kelly said...

The big blue store - you had me there but after reading Midwest to Midlands, I understand. I though the food there would be good too but not so much. I did enjoy your tale.

laurie said...

I hope you can find a recipe that is similiar to your Aunts!

Denise said...

Hope you get the recipe soon.

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Sweet Tomatoes is so nice! It is a soup and salad buffet. Everything thing fresh! And different seasonal dishes. I just looked it up, there aren't any north of Illinios. :(
But if you are doing any traveling soon.....

Judy S. said...

I need to check my recipe (a friend's) against the one above which has to be real, and get back to you. ;)

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Judy, thank you for this. I can so identify with your plight that day. Funny, I almost posted my Swedish meatballs last month. Eventually ...

J_on_tour said...

Reading this reminded me very much, as is mentioned in the the comments section, of one of my local shops IKEA. I had to smile when I saw the colour heading, one way direction around the shop, the quality of & speed in which the food is served up .... & of course the labour camp !! Sorry to hear about your allergy experience. My experience is that I go in looking at furniture ideas and come out with a £3 purchase that I had no idea I was going to buy when I entered the shop. A friend recently asked me for a joke on Facebook "What"s IKEA?" to which I replied ...... "It's a place where you generally need either a 3D eye or a construction qualification before entering the establishment. Many people love the idea when they can't think of anywhere else to go of being let loose in a post lego and meccano environment or being swept along on a shop journey more complex than a roller coaster seeing objects that you never knew existed …. yet. The experience is comparable in time length to trying to exit the car park before the fun later of wielding bits of plastic and pretendy wood all over the lounge floor with the aid of a 32 page A4 booklet."


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