The other night I was watching the live showing of Grease on TV. It was fantastic! I couldn’t help but sing along to all of the songs and smile at every cute moment between Danny and Sandy. When I was growing up, I was obsessed with musicals. I would borrow CDs from the town library just to hear my favorites. I learned how to play “Memory” from Cats on the piano and I acted in the local children’s theater. I was musical obsessed like so many other tweens.
I remember one afternoon, my mother and I were picking up my grandmother to take her out to lunch. I had just started playing my new Grease soundtrack and was LOVING IT! (I was also, and still am, an avid car singer). My grandmother got into the car just as the song “Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee” started playing. In this song Rizzo and the other Pink Ladies begin to mock Sandy and it gets mean fast.
My Grandmother paused once she got in the car and asked, “What IS this music that you’re playing?”
“It’s from Grease!” I happily responded.
“Well I’ve never heard of that and I don’t think that I would like it if this is the type of music in it” She said and then asked for the music to be turned off.
I couldn’t get over it! Not only was my soul being crushed by not being able to belt out “Summer Days” one more time before lunch, but my grandmother had never seen or even heard or Grease! I was mortified.
My grandmother, to her defense, was a no-nonsense, save your money, don’t waste anything Polish woman. She could beat you in cards without even trying and could get you to do yardwork even if you were on vacation. So it doesn’t surprise me now that she hadn’t seen or even had the desire to see Grease, but to my tween mind it seemed impossible.
These Polish meatballs are another recipe that I found at her house when my mother, Aunt and I were cleaning and boxing things up. I don’t know much about her favorite recipes; most of my life she would have her lunches out and tv dinners at night, but I hear so much about her baking and cooking from my relatives that I feel like I missed out on some of these traditions.
I remember a few things. Like that time all of the women in my family made hundreds of pierogi in one day. Or going to see my family in upstate New York and having to go to the Polish market to buy kielbasa or galumpkis. And her making applesauce from drop apples every fall and filling her freezers with homemade soups.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I want to get to know my grandmother through some of her recipes that she left behind. I love these old notebooks with her scribbled handwriting throughout them. Not solely because of the recipes, but because she’s there too.
Polish Meatballs straight from my grandmother's cookbook!
- 1 1/2 Pounds Ground Pork
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Cup Minced Onion
- 1 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Marjoram
- 1/4 Tsp Pepper
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 4 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 1 Beef Bouillon Cube
- 1 Cup Water
- 3/4 Cup Sour Cream
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, egg, bread crumbs, milk, onion, salt, marjoram, and pepper. Combine until fully blended.
- Shape into 1 1/2 inch balls. Roll meatballs in flour.
- Saute meatballs in oil until browned on all sides.
- Remove meatballs once browned and put in a 2 qt casserole dish.
- Combine the drippings in the skillet with flour, beef bouillon cube, water, sour cream and milk. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and pour sauce over meatballs. Bake uncovered for 50 Minutes. Garnish with cheese and parsley and enjoy!