Sunday, April 5, 2020

Comfort During Isolation.

Day 10, or is it 11…12, I have lost count, of quarantine.  Once again I have been asked to share a homemade meal, I posted about on Facebook.  I am sorry, but with my husband being an “essential” employee, we worry daily if he will become infected.  As much as I want to say yes to sharing, I do not know how I would handle the guilt, if someone became ill, due to being kind.

This is what life has come down to during the Covid-19 crisis.  Will the virus infiltrate our bodies; when will it be safe to go to a store or restaurant without worrying? Will the situation worsen to the point of having the military closing off highways, and nightly curfews?

My husband and myself post funny videos on Facebook, make up funny memes.  Laughter will lighten the mood, chase the tendrils of fear from lodging into the brain…we hope.  I encourage folks to watch my food vlogs on Youtube, few as they are.  I am a character, you will laugh while learning to cook and/or bake.

There are many articles being written about the virus; some with updated and factual information.  Some seem to be taken from a science fiction novel, and we wonder when the zombie apocalypse will be announced.  Health, state and other governmental agencies seem to have the best information.  Your cousin, coworker, neighbor down the street?  Not so much; do not take too much heed to rumors, especially when they seem to wallow in fear.  I am sure you have heard this many times, so off the soap box I descend.

So now to some comfort cooking that can easily be made at home; a savory soup for lunch or dinner.  This recipe almost became a product of the Progresso company, but it contained two, too many ingredients, so did not make the cut.  Cannot win them all, but you never know if you do not try, right?  The meatballs are a mixture of beef and turkey; the turkey actually gives a more tender texture to them.  An all-beef meatball has been tried, but seemed to be a bit too firm, when matched with the tender vegetables.  We have found that no other side is actually needed with this soup, no crusty bread or simple side salad; it is an all-in-one meal.

Once again, bored children at home; bored to insanity yourselves…be creative.  Write poetry or short stories; paint, draw or sketch pictures; stick figures count!  When it comes to meals though, become a master chef or baker, even if it is only in your own mind.  Children can be your sous chef, and who knows, one day they may even graduate from a culinary institute like the C.I.A.!  Never say never; chin up; especially when stirring the soup.  Yes, do not put your face into the pot, especially when the liquid is bubbling.

Meatball Soup

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 medium onions, diced
6 cups beef broth
1 and ½ cups cold water
4 medium potatoes, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 (8 oz.) bag of baby carrots, cut in halves
2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 lb. ground turkey
1 tsp. each dried savory (or sage if you cannot find savory), garlic powder, onion powder
1 and ½ cups plain bread crumbs (dried, fine ground variety)
3 eggs, beaten
Grated cheese

Heat oil, on high, in a 6 quart stock pot; sauté onions till tender, about 3 minutes.  Add beef broth and water; bring to a boil.  Lower heat to medium; add in potatoes and carrots.

Preheat oven to 350F.  In a large bowl, combine beef, turkey, seasoning, bread crumbs and eggs.  Mix together thoroughly; form meatballs of about a 1 inch diameter; makes about 60 meatballs.

Place meatballs on baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes; just to brown the meat, not cook all the way through.  Dab each meatball on a paper towel to remove excess grease before putting into the stock pot.  Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender.

When serving, sprinkle grated cheese on top of soup.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Mary Cokenour

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