Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sweet Balls and Fire

In all fairness, meatballs have to be the most difficult food to photograph. Yes, they're yummy to eat, but they're not terribly appetizing to look at. Since we eat with our eyes first, or whatever it is Bobby Flay always says, I did my best with what I had. Go with me here.

Anyway, yesterday felt like the most normal day I've had since it happened. Not normal, of course, but the most like normal. I cleaned and worked and busied myself with a Christmas present project. (I'll show you that tomorrow.) I also glanced through the Rachael Ray magazine I'd had for weeks but hadn't opened yet. And when I did, I knew what we were having for dinner: Sweet Balls of Fire.

I changed the recipe a little. I used two eggs instead of three and added grated onion and garlic and substituted thyme for the parsley since my summer parsley crop drowned back in June. I also served the meatballs on a bed of campanelle pasta and drizzled the sweet/fire sauce over the top instead of using it as a dipping sauce. Wow. We all were shocked, I think, that a tradition-defying plate of meatballs and pasta could be that good.

We moved outside after dinner, where the final step before the first step of brick fire pit laying was completed. What is it about land and trees and dusk and an open fire that calms you down? Maybe it's all in the shooting, flickering flames and the way they hold you, breathless, and mesmerize your very being. Have you ever noticed that, when facing a crackling outdoor fire, you sort of bliss out? You don't think, really, or worry or talk. You all just sit with your chin in your hands and stare.

And we did. Stuffed with dinner and mesmerized by the flame, we all sat until the sun burned away and the night was still and dark except for the dying flames that grew smaller and smaller until they were little glowing meatballs. Then we went in and said our goodbyes.

I'd had such plans for September, as you may recall. My Simple September turned out to be anything but, instead becoming the most heart-anguishing month of my life. Sad September, really. But it's over now. I'm glad. I'm glad October is here. I'm ready to begin fall now, I think.

Bring on the sweet balls and fire. It's going to be a great autumn.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you are feeling more at peace now. It is so hard to grieve.

Your meatballs sound so good; I do believe that I will have to make them; but I will have to cut down on the hotsause as John doesn't do hot!

Anonymous said...

I too am glad that you are feeling more at peace.
I like how you changed up the recipe Brin, I do that all the time. I'm making these meatballs very soon (your way)..
Great ending to an evening of good food and fellowship...staring into the fire!

Anonymous said...

you took the words outta my mouth when discribing the fire - and how you can do nothing but sit and stare at the flames - your mind kinda goes blank for a while - no worries - nothing but calm - you make me wish i had a fire now!

I hope I am as strong as you are after your loss, my 2 little ones are my {Kids} and I too would be devasted if something ever happens.
thanks for your blog

Terri Steffes said...

mmmm. I think that PASTA is looking good, too!

Unknown said...

I was just thinking about meatballs this morning and how I haven't made them in ages, is that recipe in the newest issue of RR? I'm gonna have to try it now, thanks! So happy to hear your getting a litile closer to normal!

Melissa said...

hi-my name is Melissa. My mother in law is Sue over at Country Pleasure’s…I’m looking for new blog friends. I’ve been blogging for a few months…I have a new blog-www.family-fixins.blogspot.com and my regular blog wwwmyblessedworld.blogspot.com. Visit me at both and pass me onto your friends. I’d love to have more friends out here in blog land! I don’t have too many to chat with!

Anonymous said...

Meatballs look so good! I forget about them! Good autumn food!

Take care!

BellaColle said...

Awesome recipe! lovin' the bonfire!!!
lovely as always Brin. =)

Anonymous said...

The recipe looks great, especially with your personal touches/changes. I've copied it down and will try it next week. :o)

Beautiful pit fire!

Unknown said...

It is wonderful that you are finding some peace for your soul. And it is lovely that you had a guest,too! Your meatballs sound heavenly I will certainly have to go at it! Bless you dear blog friend! Sending you lots of hugs.

Jen Kershner said...

Hi Brin. I'm wishing a wonderful October for you. You deserve it. I've been thinking of you this week as I battled some health issues with my own cat. I thought of you as I sat and cried in the vet's exam room. I think we're going to make it through this round but I couldn't help thinking about the fact that we have been in this house less than 4 years and have buried 2 of our furry family members. It's so gut wrenching to lose them but I can't imagine life without them.

Just know that there are people out there who truly do get it and have compassion for what you are going through. Warmly, Jen