Thursday, December 20, 2007

Don't judge a meatball recipe by it's ingredients

So...'tis the season for "end of the year parties", or "bonenkais" as they are called in Japanese. I have been on a "bonenkai marathon", of sorts....thank God not all of them have included lots and lots of (insert favorite alcoholic beverage name here).
Evening ones (Friday, Monday and tomorrow) will have booze, ones held in the afternoon (Tuesday, Today, Tomorrow, and next Thursday) may have a bit of wine, but usually the people are there for the food (first!) and good conversation!!!
(yes, tomorrow is going to be a busy day!!!)

During the evening ones, a group of people will usually go to a nice place and for 2 more, no less...2, drink and carry on nice and friendly conversations. Then, it is on to the "ni-jikai", or "second party", where things get a bit louder and 8 times out of 10, there WILL be karaoke involved!!! The great thing about these parties is the underlying reason for this get-together...and that is to "forgive and forget" any kind of tension in relationships...feelings that have been hurt..those kind of things. It's the end of the year, let's drink, get drunk, sing some songs and in January, when we meet again, it's a new year so let's start with a clean slate!!!

Anyway...back to the real reason for this post....a few days ago, I was talking to my good friend Lila, who like all good Jewish girls, had just gotten back from a Christmas party...and we were talking about foods to take to parties. She told me about a recipe for "Sweet and Sour Meatballs II" (obviously, there is a "I" out there, may have to find that one too!!) that her sister had told her about. I needed something for my little get-together with students (15 of them!) at my house yesterday....I needed something quick and delicious...I am going to share with you this at first, when you read the ingredients, I'm sure I'll almost be able to hear you mumbling to yourself..."are you serious? no way is this going to be good!!" But believe me, 15 Japanese ladies, one Japanese husband, one American woman ('stay away from me') and 2 small boys will vouch that these. are. delicious!!!

The ingredients are:
1 (16 ounce) can sauerkraut
1 (16 ounce) can jellied cranberry sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
3 pounds small meatballs mix the first 4 ingredients together in a bowl. (at this point, I was thinking "yech"...but please continue!!)
Put the meatballs in a crock pot, pour the "sauce" over them and put the crockpot on low. Let it cook for 3-4 hours. (It said to "stir often" but I actually left the house for about 2 1/2 hours and it was no problem!!)
Put out some toothpicks and let the eating begin!!!

The men in my house ate them for dinner with rice!!! Lila...her sister Miriam and the lady at YOU!!!

Oh...and for anyone who has been here in Japan when Japanese ladies come for a party 1)out of the 15 women, 8 brought aprons and 2) Yes, my kitchen was cleaner when they left than before they came and 3) NO, of course I didn't have to do anything but tell them where to put things!!! It was an absolutely wonderful day!!!

I hope you are all having good days...and if you need something to take to a party, try the meatballs....mmmmmmmgood!!!


Susan C. said...

I planned on making meatballs with spaghetti sauce, but now I have just printed this recipe and will try it. I also make a mean little smoky with Grape Jelly and Chili Sauce. I'm making those, too. Will let you know how the meatballs turn out. You guys have a Great Christmas! (And hope your Bonenkai Marathon was a blast.)

dkuroiwa said...

Good luck with that Susan...I have to admit, I was a bit "concerned" about the sauerkraut/spaghetti combo, but....strangely enough, it worked out!! Grape jelly is ALWAYS good in chili!!
You and Bob and kids have a great holiday!!! Love you!!
(and the "marathon" is almost year will definitely do some different scheduling!!)

Mrs. G. said...

I LOVE MY CROCKPOT and I can't wait to try these.

I wish I could go to all your parties and eat them.

Thanks for the recipe!

dkuroiwa said...

I just talked to my mom this morning and she said she had gone to a party where they used the same sauce, but used little sausages instead of the meatballs!!! Sounds good to me!!
*One more party to go...for this week!!!

Paida said...

OK I am going to have to try it - but I will be honest; I really am not sure about this one. :)