My paternal grandfather breathed his last this past Sunday. He had been ill for a while with a variety of ailments (probably a result of his early smoking years combined with repeated inhalation of sawdust), but just before Christmas, they found cancer. Surgery came just after Christmas and he'd been trying to recover since. But that major of a surgery was too much for an 82-year-old man with a history of asthma and heart problems.
Of course, you may know this particular grandfather as the one in love with hobo dinners. He also enjoyed the Three Stooges, electronic handheld games, woodworking, and baking a mean pie. I've been busy this week processing how to let him go, and not much has gone on in the kitchen as a result.
Of course, my man, being the giver that he is, immediately asked: "Does your mom want us to bring anything?" So for the showing on friday, he is making cookies and possibly banana bread, and for me, a classic standby that even the kid eats well. Grape Jelly Meatballs (with no meat). Usually we make a half batch of this for home. Twenty balls between two adults and one kid is more than enough, but it's also a good slow cooker recipe that anyone can appreciate. We'll be bringing a full batch for the showing, and I'm sure it'll get ate. Especially if I don't mention that the meatballs are fake.
Grape Jelly Meatballs (with no meat)
1 32 oz. jar grape jelly
2 12 oz. jars heinz chili sauce
40 frozen meatless meatballs (eggplant meatballs work well, as does textured veggie protein versions)
1. Combine jelly, chili sauce, and meatballs in slow cooker. Cook.
Alternatively: Combine ingredients in a pot. Cook.
Grape jelly doesn't seem like a fitting combo with chili sauce and/or meatballs, but something about the mix of flavors just works. It makes a tangy with a hint of sweet sauce that any unmeaty meatball can appreciate. Of course, you could use real meatballs too, but then, I wouldn't eat it.
It doesn't make anything better, but at least it gives me something to focus on. Planning the menu. Organizing the travel. Making sure that there's nothing more I can do.