Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What's A Meal Train?


I have been here for eight weeks now. I'm enjoying some time with these beautiful granddaughters (Big Sister is at school) in the early morning right now. But those first weeks? Oh, my goodness. Two of those weeks involved Mommy's hospital stay before Baby Girl came. Then there was complete bed rest for another week or so. Then Baby Girl made her grand (and early) entrance—then she promptly went back into the hospital for another week.

If you're lucky, when difficult times like these hit, your friends will help out. The kind people of this midwest town brought in 15 meals over those many weeks. I was as thankful as anyone to have this wonderful outpouring of care and concern. I had my hands more than full tending to the older girls and keeping the house going while making many trips back and forth to the hospitals. Not having to think much about grocery shopping and cooking was a blessing.

In those 15 meals, no two meals were ever the same. I learned about a website called Meal Train that people here use to coordinate meal deliveries. Through this free service, we knew which days meals were coming and usually knew what food someone was bringing. The people volunteering could also look and see what other people planned to take so that we didn't end up with four lasagnas in a row. And they could see that this household doesn't like cilantro. (You can list your food preferences here.)

If you are involved in taking meals to anyone, you ought to take a look at MealTrain.com. Even if you don't use their website, there are wonderful tips there for meal deliveries.


One of the first meals that arrived was BBQ meatballs, complete with side dishes, homemade rolls and dessert. I have made this same recipe at home and have even taken it to someone who was recovering from surgery. It really is a good recipe. I was delighted when Hannah told me the recipe was from Pioneer Woman–the very same recipe that I use! The recipe name says it all. Comfort food, indeed.


BBQ COMFORT MEATBALLS

Meatballs: 
1-1/2 lbs ground beef
3/4 cup quick oats
3/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons very finely minced onion
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For cooking the meatballs:
1 cup all-purpose flour
canola or vegetable oil

Sauce:
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4-6 tablespoons minced onion
dash Tabasco

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Combine all meatball ingredients. Roll into medium-small balls and place on cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for five minutes.

After five minutes, remove meatballs from freezer and immediately dredge in flour.
Brown meatballs in canola oil until just browned. Place in a 2-quart baking dish.

Combine sauce ingredients. Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 

Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles.


If you need a little help with this recipe, check it out on the Pioneer Woman blog. She has step-by-step photos. 




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