Porcupine Meatballs and Love

Someone recently asked on Facebook “What was the best meal your mom ever made you?  Some people said, beef stroganoff or fried chicken.  One woman wrote, “My mother’s Sunday dinner – pot roast, mashed potatoes and cooked carrots, all awash in “black gravy” (which took us years to discover just meant she burned the roast! but man, o man, did we LOVE it!!)”

When I was a young child, my mom regularly made porcupine meatballs—ground meat and rice, formed into balls and baked in the oven in a tomato sauce.  Since my parents had five kids in six years, and my father was going to college on the GI Bill, this was her way to stretch the hamburger to feed all 7 of us. I loved the texture and crunch that the rice gave to the meatballs.

Later when Dad was working as a structural engineer and we had more money, porcupine meatballs disappeared from the family menu. I once asked Mom to make them for dinner and she was surprised. For her porcupine meatballs were the food of poverty, but for me they were the food of love. 

To this day whenever I eat porcupine meatballs, I am taken back to a crowded kitchen table surrounded by my siblings and love.  How about you?  What meal reminds you of love?

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