Old Fashioned Beet Balls In Sweet And Sour Sauce

 

Beet Ball

Beet Ball

Sometimes I’m not quick. My friend, Dot, who owns Silverbrook Farm near Leesburg, VA, gave me some recipes from the 1940’s that she found in an old trunk. The first one was for beet balls in sweet and sour sauce.

I read the name again. Beet balls. Like meatballs, I wondered?

I pictured myself grinding up beets to make balls. What would hold them together? I couldn’t imagine why I’d even want to.

 It wasn’t till the next morning that it hit me. Beets ARE balls! Here’s the recipe – I love the differences in words. I never hear people say cupfuls or tablespoonfuls these days.

 

1940's recipe for beeets in sweet and sour sauce

Recipe from the 1940's

Start by cooking the beets — she doesn’t say how, but that’s why we have Google.

3 cupfuls of cooked beet balls
Make a sauce by mixing together 
¼ cup cupful of sugar, 1 Tablespoonful of cornstarch,
½ cupful of vinegar, ½ cupful of water.
Cook till slightly thickened, add the beet balls 
and simmer five minutes
then add two tablespoonfuls of butter.
Serve sprinkled with shredded almonds

 

MR. MAGOO AND THE CHRISTMAS MOOSE

You said he was my moose!

You said he was my moose!

Bones, the golden Lab, gave Mr. Magoo a toy moose for Christmas. The moose was dead by nightfall! Perhaps his rubber chicken put him up to it — jealous, I suspect. No moose could replace him!

Whatever his reason, the moose didnt stand a chance.

THE STUFFING'S THE BEST PART

THE STUFFING'S THE BEST PART

 

I TOOK CARE OF THAT MOOSE

I TOOK CARE OF THAT MOOSE

 

POOR MOOSE

POOR MOOSE

DEAD MOOSE

DEAD MOOSE

Bones has not destroyed his Christmas toy — but it looks as though he might be trying to smother him.

Bones - smothering Christmas toy??

Bones - smothering Christmas toy??

 

TOO MUCH TURKEY & DRESSING IS ENOUGH

 

GRANDMA, ALEX, AND JOE ARE READY FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER

Christmas was perfect with all of my family home once again — and once again I cooked too much food – too much turkey and way too much dressing. Too much turkey because of my Daddy’s blue-collar pride. “We may not have much, but nobody in my house ever goes hungry.” I took that lesson to the grocery store where I asked the man at the poultry counter how big a turkey I’d need to feed nine people. He told me. I bought one a little over twice that. Nobody at my house was going to go hungry.

I made too much dressing because I never cook anything the same

CHRISTMAS WITH MY BOYS AND LOTS OF GIFTS

My Boys Home For Christmas

way twice. It’s my heritage. I come from a long line of women who eschewed recipes in favor of the taste & feel method. You mix it, then taste it – however raw. If it doesn’t taste right, add stuff, and taste again, and again till it’s right. Then you cook it.

           So I started by gathering the ingredients: 2 5 x 5” squares of store-bought cornbread, a bag of cornbread stuffing mix left over from Thanksgiving, 2-3 boxes of chicken soup stock, 1 package chicken livers, 2 cups chopped onion, 2 cups chopped celery, 2-3 eggs, Tsp thyme, Tbsp salt, Tbsp pepper, a quarter pound of butter.

Once I’d cooked celery, onions, and a half stick of butter in chicken stock and the chicken livers and turkey liver, gizzard, and neck in water till done (you can add the heart but I don’t because I think it’s gross} and greased two 6” square baking pans with butter, I put all the ingredients (only 2/3 of the giblets – saved rest for gravy) into my biggest mixing bowl and stirred it all together. It didn’t feel wet enough so I added more chicken stock.

           Then came the important part. I tasted the mixture. Way too sweet! Then I remembered I’d made the same mistake last year. Store-bought cornbread is sweet. This tasted more like liver-flavored cake than stuffing. The answer was to add bread.

           I found 4 ½ hotdog buns in the bread bin along with 2 leftover biscuits. I mixed them in and added more chicken stock. Still too sweet. No time to go to the store. I broke up the loaf of French bread I’d planned to serve for brunch. We could eat Christmas candy for brunch. I tried scrapping some crust from a frozen quiche but gave up on it.

By then bowl was overflowing, so I poured the mixture into my turkey roasting pan, and added 3 more rolls I’d found in the bottom of the freezer. This much dressing needed another half stick of butter and more salt and pepper. I wet it down with more chicken stock. To heck with the spoon. A spoon was nothing against this ocean. I pushed back my sleeves, grabbed the mess with both hands and kneaded and mixed, frequently adding more stock, till it felt right.

Tasted it again. Added salt. Added sage. Tasted again. By the time it passed the taste-test I had enough dressing to fill six 6” pans. No worry, I told myself. It freezes.

Now it’s one day later. The freezer is full. I’ve decided I hate turkey and I hate dressing and I have enough to last a month. Dinner anyone?

Day three–There’s half a turkey left  —  I ordered Chinese!