Meatballs. Did you ever see that movie from 1979? I wasn’t feeling well the other day and it was on one of the “classic” movie channels. (I always feel old when movies I grew up with end up on the classic channels.)
I couldn’t resist cuddling up in my woobie and watching the whole thing. I’ve seen it numerous times since I was a kid but it is fun to watch movies like that at different ages in your life. (I never did see it in the theatre. I was too young.)
My dad had rented it on VHS in the early 80’s and I finally got to see the whole thing. (He loved Bill Murray and “borrowed” a lot of his jokes.) I don’t remember if I understood the adult humor but I did have an instant crush on one of the characters.
This character was just a simple, nice guy who seemed to have respect for the girl who liked him in the movie. (She was mildly aggressive in capturing her beau but it was a quality I would share with her one day.)
As I was watching the movie, I really got the giggles remembering how much I liked this fictional character. (I named a Cabbage Patch Kid after him.) And then I wondered what he did when he was all grown up. I had really hoped in my heart that he remained the good guy that I had imagined him to be in real life.
I started googling his name and found out that he had done very well for himself. He still was interested in acting but it wasn’t his life. He went to college, received two masters degrees and is quite respected and accomplished in his field.
I then did something that I don’t think I’ve done since Shaun Cassidy was on the charts; I sent him a fan letter. (Okay, it was a fan email but as we know there was no email when Shaun Cassidy was around.)
I didn’t say much more than I admired him in the movie as a kid and it put a smile on my face to know that he grew up to be such a stand-up, smart guy. (I had great taste in men even when I was little.) I thanked him for the memories and really didn’t expect to hear back from him.
Well, I was wrong!!! I received a nice note from him (which is more than I can say for Shaun Cassidy in the 1970’s) and felt like I was eleven years old again. Giggle. The note was gracious and humble. It was just what the child in me would have wanted this character to say. (I was also relieved that he didn’t think I was a crazy person.)
One of the most famous scenes in the movie Meatballs is where Bill Murray starts the campers chanting, “It just doesn’t matter.” If you don’t know the movie, it is a pivotal point where Camp North Star needed a pep talk about how it didn’t matter if they won or lost a competition with rivals, Camp Mohawk. (Okay, I am not a movie reviewer so I hope that explanation is enough.)
When I wrote my fan letter, I had that mentality in mind. It didn’t matter if I heard back….but it will forever put a smile on my face that I did. Thanks.
¾ lb ground beef
¾ lb ground pork
1/3 lb mild, ground Italian sausage
3 pieces of bacon, ground or finely chopped
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup stale breadcrumbs
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp oregano
Salt and Pepper (I used a good pinch of salt and a couple of grounds of pepper.)
4 cups favorite spaghetti sauce, simmering on stove.
In a large bowl, add the meats, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese and spices. Mix to incorporate the ingredients but don’t over mix.
Roll into balls (I use a cookie scoop so that they are all uniform size.) I also found if you sing the CIT campfire song while rolling the balls it makes time go by even faster.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil. (I started with a couple of Tablespoons and added more as needed.)
Brown your balls in batches and then place in simmering tomato sauce.
Simmer on stove for at least two hours. Give them a gentle stir every now and then.
Serve with your favorite pasta or in sandwiches. (I sautéed some eggplant, red pepper and onion and placed them on a roll with mozzarella cheese. I added a couple of balls and had one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever made.)
PS If you are wondering why I didn’t share his name it is because I really respect the work he has done and I want to continue to respect his privacy. And the restraining order told me I couldn’t ever say it again. HA HA