Julia's Guardian Angel Fund

Friday, May 15, 2009

Counting down...

So, I'm sure you've probably lost interest in this blog by now, when the author goes MIA for more than a month.

I've had a good excuse, or should I say good excuses? Pregnant with my 6th (not without a few complications), home schooling, Spring...Those three together make for one busy mom.

So, really now, I'm counting down AND finding recipes to prepare for the freezer.

My first staple for the freezer are the marinated Flank Steak and Spaghetti Sauce for a Crowd along with a loaf of ABI5MAD, salad and veggie. But I will be adding a few more here. This post is really a reminder tag, like my friend Erin did for Chicken with 40 Cloves of garlic at her blog. And, that does look soooo good, by the way.

So, things I'll be making ahead? Some marinates to be mixed with meat already frozen, some crock pot meals and a few more baked goods. Unfortunately, my freezer is struggling to stay closed right now, so I'm not sure where I'll put everything, but we've been working through other things in the freezer to make room.

I'm so very thankful that I will have lots of help, this time. I'm 95% certain I will be having a c-section, a reality I've come to grips with, so I will need help with feeding the hungry mouths here. As I mentioned before, I have a great home school support group that helps with providing meals, my mom is coming for two weeks and my step mom has graciously offered to come and help, too! I might have help for the entire 6 weeks of recommended recovery time.

So, there's a quick note of thanks to those that have and will help and here's offering a prayer of thanksgiving for all those wonderful souls that have prayed and helped so far and will help again.


  1. Meatballs are a fantastic thing to have in your freezer. Making a lot of them isn't much harder than making a few of them -- it's the same bowl, just takes a little longer to form them, and surely Little Woman will enjoy helping you roll them. I usually do at least 5 lbs of meat at a time, part beef and part bulk Italian sausage. Brown them in the oven, but they don't have to be cooked all the way through before freezing (just remember to mark them as undercooked).

    Freeze them separately on wax-paper-lined cookie sheets and when they're good and frozen (at least on the outside) transfer them to ziplock bags. You can then take out as many as you need for a meal.

    The easiest thing to do is boil some pasta and turn them into spaghetti and meatballs (homemade meatballs make canned sauce special!), Swedish meatballs, or (my personal favorite) put them in the crockpot with canned or homemade spaghetti sauce and then serve them on hoagie buns with sliced Provolone cheese. But they can also go in lasagna, Italian wedding soup, or (if you season them with just garlic and basil so they don't scream "Italian!") Asian noodle-broth kind of soups.

  2. Oh, that's an awesome idea! Do you add anything other than just meat to your meatballs? DO they need something to "hold them together"? I'm finding gelatin powder to be a good sub in those cases. Just wondering...

  3. This is bearing posting from a friend's computer.

    Mine contain egg, milk, and some kind of bread-crumb-like substance, depending on what I have on hand. I'm partial to crushed saltines for meatloaf, but homemade-bread crumbs for meatballs. Also I usually put garlic, onion, and basil and sometimes parmesan cheese and parsley.

    If you don't have egg, of course, you'll want to design your other ingredients to minimize falling apart, which the egg really helps with. Number one, I would mince any onions, other vegetables, or fresh herbs that you put in as tiny as possible, or maybe don't use those: I find that meatballs tend to fall apart in places where several onion chunks come together. Garlic you can press, of course. Number two, if you use bread crumbs or other grains, soak them well in liquid (the milk) before mixing with the meat. You might experiment with rolled oats that have been pulsed a couple of times in the food processor to decrease the particle size and then well soaked: I think rolled oats have a sort of gelatinous, moisture-holding property you don't get from many other grains. Forget rice (not that you would use rice anyway, Mrs. I'm-allergic-to-everything).

    Another eggless thing that may be worth trying if you have trouble with meatballs that don't hold together is some kind of TVP product. I used to buy this fake "bulk sausage" at the co-op, called "Gimme Lean," which I thought tasted great and when it was cooked had a fantastic texture, but in uncooked form was extremely goopy and sticky, like cookie dough batter. I prefer real food as much as the next person, but I'm not averse to occasionally turning to technology to solve a physical chemistry problem created by the mandated absence of key ingredients.

    (Otherwise, we would never use baking powder!)