I know I’m supposed to have some sage words to share with you about what I have learned in 2008, but I think I’ll give that a pass. For one thing, the things I have learned have been hard and pretty personal, and I’d rather keep my blog light and relatively carefree. For another, do you really want to hear about my personal business? No, no you do not.
Let’s just talk about today in particular. The last day of 2008. So many of my friends (Andrea, Brian, Catie, Kate, Suzi) have had difficult years, dealing with extremely hard and painful situations. I have to say that I have fortunate to escape a great deal of hardship, for which I am thankful, and I was given a whole lot to be grateful for — the friendship of my Army Wives girls, the support of my Flickr group, the uneventful pregnancy and birth of my second daughter, and the ability to weather this recession since my husband’s job is secure.
I have a feeling 2009 is going to be a much better year. I’m finally learning to let go of a lot of things, to let things slide off my shoulders. I’m nagging Kurt far less and trying to be affectionate with him far more. Even when I’m feeling pissed off, I am doing my best to simply bite my tongue because you know what? There’s no point in both of us being miserable. Maybe I am thick-headed for finally figuring this out now after seven years of marriage, but I guess I learn more slowly than most.
Ha. I said I wasn’t going to go down this road, and here I am. Well, there you have it.
The year is going out with quite a bang. This morning, as we were laying in bed, we could hear the wind whipping around the house. It had already started snowing by the time we got up, but when I opened the drapes, there was just the barest dusting of snow on the ground with teeny little flakes being buffeted around by the wind. By the afternoon, we had several inches of snow, so Kurt decided to shovel the sidewalk and driveway to make it easier on him later.
The shoveling was rather pointless. The wind is so bad that ten minutes later you couldn’t tell he’d taken a shovel to the snow at all. It had all just drifted back over the cleared areas.
He went out again a while ago to shovel, and while he was out there I heard the snowplow coming down the road. But instead of plowing us in, the driver was kind enough to stop and plow out the end of our driveway! What a nice guy! The last time it snowed, Kurt hadn’t gotten to the end of the driveway soon enough, and the snow melted and refroze the snow into a huge mound we had to go over with the minivan. Not fun.
Tonight it is supposed to be COLD too, going down to 15º. Brrrr!
Dinner wasn’t anything hugely special. I don’t go all out for New Year’s Eve dinner the way I do for Christmas, unless we’re having company. I was hoping to have a mini party of sorts, but Pamela and her family prefer not to go anywhere on New Year’s Eve due to the drunks on the road (which makes total sense), and my other friend has family in town, and the other friend I invited has been sick so she didn’t think she could make it. It looks like just me and Kurt for the New Year. And I’ve spent some of the evening organizing my laundry room! Yay!
We had Swedish Meatballs for dinner. Kurt had picked up some ground beef while he was at the commissary getting milk this afternoon, and he decided he wanted something with rice. I know you’re supposed to serve Swedish Meatballs over egg noodles, but I always have rice on hand and I rarely have egg noodles. Therefore this family eats it with rice. So sue us.
I got the recipe from an old copy of the Betty Crocker Cookbook, printed in 1972. This recipe, and one for Waikiki Meatballs, are pretty much the only two I make from this cookbook. I should look through there again to see if I can find some inspiration, but it’s too easy to find recipes online.
Swedish Meatballs Serves 6 to 8
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground lean pork (I use all ground beef)
1/2 cup minced onion
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon snipped parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup salad oil (I use far less than this, probably about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups water
3/4 cup dairy sour cream
Mix thoroughly beef, pork, onion, bread crumbs, parsley, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, the Worcestershire sauce, egg and milk. Refrigerate 2 hours. (I never refrigerate the meat. It would probably help to firm up the meatballs, but I’m in far too much of a hurry to do this.)
Shape mixture by rounded tablespoonsfuls into balls. In large skillet, slowly brown and cook meatballs in oil. Remove meatballs and keep warm.
Blend flour, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper into oil in skillet. (I generally wipe out the pan after cooking the meatballs and add a couple tablespoons more oil. That way, there are no burnt bits in the sauce.) Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbling. Remove from heat; stir in water. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Reduce heat and gradually stir in sour cream, mixing until smooth. Add meatballs; heat through.
Kurt took one bite and just about melted in his chair. It was just the perfect thing to serve on a cold, wintery, blustery, windy day. Comfort food to the max!
Happy New Year, all! May 2009 bring you joy, laughter, good times, and wonderful friends.