Monday, February 22, 2010

Meatballs in Buttermilk circa 1968

Last week we were invited to a winter party at my friend Brian's house. He is an amazing host whose parties are always full of great food and wine. This photo was taken at one of his summer parties, where the evening ended around his amazing and warm fire pit.

He usually makes a delicious soup or stew and a ham or turkey and asks his guests to bring either a dessert or appetizer. Because most of the guests are "foodies", there is always a great assortment of wonderful offerings. The party was the day after Valentines day which was a Monday evening. Not the usual night for a party, but for us, many of whom work in restaurants, it was our Friday. Being the day after both Valentines day and President's Day weekend we were all exhausted from the busy nights at the restaurant. When asked, I kept telling Brian I was not going to the party. I just wanted to be home in my jammies watching the Olympics, but hubby wanted to go, so we did.

I live over 20 minutes from the nearest grocery store, so was looking to make something from ingredients on hand. I had some fresh ground turkey and went in search through my vintage collection of cookbooks for a meatball recipe and found a recipe for Meatballs in Buttermilk. I happened to have some buttermilk on hand that needed to be used up as well so thought this the perfect recipe to try. I especially loved that there was a "blue ribbon" symbol next to the recipe. Must be good!! How thoroughly retro, I thought.

When I was recently married in 1979 at the age of 19, I found a cookbook for .50 in the bargain basement of a bookstore. It was called "Favorite Recipes of American-Meats". At the time, I was a vegetarian cooking for my then husband who was a meat eater. Somehow I still have this cookbook in my collection and this is where the recipe came from. The copyright on the book is 1968.

As I went through the ingredients the only thing I did not have enough of was some dried mustard, but I did have mustard seed and so I put it in my grinder and made some of my own.

Meatballs browning on the stove top.

Buttermilk sauce simmering. At first the sauce curdled a bit and I thought, "oh no another vintage recipe disaster". But soon enough it all came together
in a delightful sauce perfect to add the meatballs to.

And the finished product with just a "touch" of smoked paprika added
(not part of the recipe, but I could not help myself).

Somehow I forgot to bring my camera to the party, so do not have a photo of it at the party. I presented the meatballs in a wonderful 1970's chafing dish with a wooden handle and totally 70's design. I was pleased and all the party goers thought they were delicious.

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