Miss Pym and a Friend

Miss Pym and a Friend

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Passing of an Excellent Woman

My Blog, Dr. E's Greening Tips is still taken over by malware, though I am closer to contacting the site that's taken it over.  I want them to remove their malware.  I'm not interested in monitizing, and I've tried to reach Google and Blogger.  Help!!

Meanwhile life goes slowly on.  We lost my aunt in Europe suddenly, and have gone through a very sad week.  My Dad takes it the hardest, of course.  But, I will miss her.  Outside of my grandparents, and one cousin of my dad's who was a well known lawyer, and a poet, she was the only one nice to me on that side of the family.  To say the least, she had mellowed.  She used to send packages of cookies and candies, small gifts, cards on holidays and birthdays.  She sent one to me not two weeks ago.  I looked forward to these secretly, since I am past the age where anyone gives me presents, or even remembers my birthdays. I got a kick out of the European tupperware she used, too.

She was nicknamed Bebe, also the name of a certain kind of French antique doll that represents a little girl.  She sewed and designed clothing under her own label, and she loved Coco Chanel. I wrote to her in Greek, and she answered in English.  She put in touch with a renowned professor of philosophy because she felt we had things in common, and she wanted to come here to see us, like her father before her.

Because of her, I, the oldest grandchild, have my grandmother's wedding ring, which I wear with my own. She was fashionable and beautiful, and loved to go out. Recently, she took up antiquing, and would send me a bibelot or engraving.

She was never sick, and joked she would live to be 100.  A few years ago, her high school boyfriend looked her up, and asked my Dad's permission for her hand in marriage.  She never wanted to marry, and enjoyed her success and her business on her own terms.

Yet another person gone.  She had gotten to be good friends with my mother, and called her nearly every day, just to talk to her, when mom was very sick.  Usually, my dad's family only calls for him; my mother and I were excess baggage. He told me Bebe died.  None of them has even tried to call or email me; they only talk to Dad to upset him.  Let's hear it for relatives.

So, the other day, in her memory, I took a piece of the baklava she sent us for lunch.  I made meatballs by hand the way my mother and she made them, along with the stuffed peppers my mom liked.  I took some to my inlaws because it was also my Father in Law's 85th birthday.  He works full time, bicycles, plays tennis, and wants to renew his pilot's license.

My husband is also recovering from a staff infection in his knee, and a lot of other nasty little things are happening. Below is my mother's and aunt's meatball recipe. Make them for some one you loved.

Meat balls a la Europa

1 lb ground turkey or other ground meat

about 1/2 c bread crumbs, I use Italian flavored

1 egg, beaten

1 finely chopped onion

Italian seasoning, oregan, basil, fresh if you can get it

Mint leaves, fresh, if you have them, just a handful

Salt and pepper to taste, or substitute garlic salt or Fresh Garlic

Mix all ingredients till well blended. Drop by round teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet, and bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 15-20 mins.  Serve over pasta of your choice, or rice.  You can make a tomato bisque sauce to go with them.  Or, serve with spaghetti and meatballs.

They can also be fried in vegetable oil or olive oil.  In that case, lightly coat with egg and dip into flour.  Rice flower, or flower with cornstarch mixed in works best, but coat lightly.

For curried meatballs, add about one TLBSP curry and a little sesame oil and sesame seeds, toasted. They are good served with rice or rice noodles with oyster sauce, or Mongolian barbecue sauce.  I used Campbells Mongolian Barbecue Sauce for Slow Cooking, but I just stirfried it with meatballs and noodles.

For Swedish meatballs, serve with a dill sauce, brown sauce, or other favorite gravy.  Use them in a Beef Stroganoff recipe, too.

My mom served them as mezadakia, or appetizers, with feta, Calamata olives, sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and other cheeses.

One of my little girl friends loved to come to my house to eat these, and my mom made them for her sometimes, just as a a snack.

Stuffed Peppers and Vegetables

1-2 lbs ground meat, I like Turkey or a mix
1 small can tomato sauce
3/4 c bread crumbs
2 eggs, or enough to bind the mixture
1 chopped onions, or 1 c chopped shallots or green onions
I Tblsp of wine, optional
1/c cooked white rice, optional
Oregano, Basil, Italian Spices, fresh if available, to taste
1c grated Parmesan, Romano, or other hard cheese, like Mdzithra or Ricotta Salata.
6 red, yellow, green peppers, a fresh tomato, zuchinni

Wash, halve, and seed the vegetables.  Halve peppers and tomatoes by cutting off the tops and saving them.  Set them aside.

Prepare meat mixture, stir and blend well.

Stuff the vegetables and cover with "caps."  If you wish to add an optional slice of cheese of any type five minutes before the vegetables are baked, leave of caps till after you place the cheese on them.

Place in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Place vegetables in about an inch of water.  Bake about 45 mins or till meat is browned, at 425 degrees.  You can included sliced, peeled potatoes to make a complete meal.

Sometimes, I blend a pat or two of butter into the mixture, too.

Serve with wine and Greek peasant salad, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, feta, Calamata olives, oregano, salt and pepper stirred with olive oil, enough for dipping bread.

Rice pudding makes a great dessert.

Kali Orexi!

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