This Sunday, our family is gathering to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of my husband Gary’s brother, Ron and his wife Kathy. You couldn’t ask for two better people. They are loving and caring, filled with faith, are the parents of four wonderful children and have a great sense of humour. Family is very important to them. Over the years, we have made many happy memories together. Gary and I and our three girls think the world of them. One Christmas, about 35 years ago, when they were visiting at our house, we had a big snowstorm and they stayed overnight. The kids slept in sleeping bags and blankets in the family room downstairs. I remember we walked down to the mall the next day, with all our 7 kids,(this is about a mile, may I add) and bought wrapping paper and such at half price. Kathy and I still use the stainless steel baking pans I bought at the old Steinberg’s grocery store. What a bargain, I paid only $2.00 each for a 9″x13″ baking pan. I bought a bunch and gave Kathy one. She is a great cook and a very special friend and I have shared some of her recipes with you over the years in my columns.
One of Kathy’s very best recipes is for meatballs made in your crockpot. The sauce which the meatballs simmer in, rates a “10”! I will give you her recipe in a second. Last week, while talking to Kathy on the phone, she told me her daughter Shannon (my sweet God daughter) had a delicious recipe for meatballs. Always, with a pad of paper and a pen handy, I was ready to copy down the recipe. Now Kathy and I have an Irish heritage and we both have a crazy sense of humour. Once given Shannon’s recipe, it was so short I told Kathy I didn’t need a sheet of paper, only a post-it note as it was so easy and short. We both laughed ourselves silly! I made a similar sauce when doing the Trade Shows for the Stormont Cattlemen. It really is delicious and so easy! Here are both recipes for you to try:
SHANNON’S MEATBALLS – Seriously, this just couldn’t be easier!!!
- 1 package of President’s Choice Italian meatballs
- 1 jar of grape jelly
- 1 bottle of chili sauce
-Combine the grape jelly and chili sauce together in a saucepan. Heat until the jelly is melted and the sauce is smooth.
-Place the frozen meatballs in your crockpot and pour the sauce over them. Stir to coat. Place the lid on your crockpot.
-Have the heat setting on HIGH until the sauce boils, then turn down the heat to LOW and let this simmer all day until supper. ENJOY!!!
–NOTE: Kathy has done the same sauce and used boneless skinless chicken breasts with excellent results. Same cooking time as well.
AUNT KATHY’S MEATBALLS
- 2 lb. lean ground beef (of course, use our local STORMONT county lean ground beef, which we sell at my store, Sharyn’s Pantry)
- 2 eggs, beaten lightly
- 1 or two onions chopped very finely
- 2 tsp. fine salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- about 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 2 cups of Ketchup
- 2 cups of water
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar
- use one of these: 1 tbsp. prepared mustard OR 1/4 cup plain white vinegar
- 1 – 19 oz. can of pineapple chunks with the juice
- 3 tbsp. dried minced onion or use freshly minced onion to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
-Mix all of the meatball ingredients together. Shape into meatballs.
HERE IS A TIP TOP GET THE SAME SIZED MEATBALLS QUICKLY:
-How I get the same sized meatballs very easily is to place a sheet of waxed paper on your work surface. Place the meat mixture on the waxed paper. Pat the meat into a rectangle about 1″ thick. Now cut the meat into squares, to resemble a sheet of graph paper. You just tear off a square of the meat and shape it into a meatball. This goes very quickly and each meatball will be exactly the same size.
-Place the meatballs on a greased broiler pan or cookie sheet with sides. Bake the meatballs in a 350 degree F. oven for 15 minutes of until the meatballs are browned. Drain off and discard any fat.
-Place the meatballs in your crockpot.
-Place all of the ingredients for the sauce in a saucepan. Bring this to a boil, then turn down the heat and allow the sauce to simmer for 15 minutes over LOW heat. You want the brown sugar to be completely dissolved.
-Pour the hot sauce over the meatballs in the crockpot. Cover and set on LOW heat. Cook the meatballs for 6 to 8 hours. These are delicious! When you serve them they just disappear before your very eyes! ENJOY!!!