"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Monday, November 28, 2011

Off To A Budget Meeting

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Lively Exchange":

It looks as though the bulk of Aurora taxpayers don't have a word of protest. Was nothing learned over the past few years ? Guess not. Ignorance can be bliss.


I don't agree that the bulk of Aurora taxpayers don't have a word of protest That's why they gave me the job again despite all that was done to  destroy my reputation.

Certainly a great deal was learned over the past few years from the blogs which would not have been known otherwise.

But there is  truth in the last sentence.

When people don't believe they have any control over events,they make a conscious choice not to pay attention. That would be the fifty per cent who regularly do not participate in municipal elections.

I find myself irritated by the amount of  time and space given to events in foreign lands over which I have no control, at the expense of events happening right here in our own neck of the woods.

We had a fantastic turn-out to the Santa Claus  parade on Saturday evening.Thousands of people lined the route. I can hardly believe the number of small children we have in our community once again.

I'm off to a day long budget session ,starting at nine o'clock,finishing at four.Hopefully. Seven hours of hammering and chiselling at figures is a tedious task.Not so tedious, if a difference is being made.

Catch you later

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Recipe Number One

Cooking skills must be kept honed. I don't cook much nowadays. Meals for one and the odd time two, don't call for much activity in the kitchen But my inclinations haven't changed and I'm always happy to cook a favourite for the  special people in my life.

I think the one everyone enjoys most is  meatballs with barbecue sauce.

They are uncomplicated but work intensive. Simple but not inexpensive.

The recipe calls for:

Two pounds of lean ground beef.

" " " ground pork

" ' " ground veal

1.5 cups of finely chopped onion

3 cups of fine dry breadcrumbs.

4 teaspoons salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp nutmeg

6 eggs

3 cups of milk

1 tbspn Worcester sauce.

The breadcrumbs shouldn't be too dry. Not store-boughten. You gotta make them yourself. From bread no more than one day old.

Onions must be really finely chopped otherwise the shape won't come to-gether.

But not chopped to a pulp. Don't use the magic bullet.

Add the ingredients to a bowl in the order written above. Blend seasoning into breadcrumbs first.

Thoroughly whip eggs and milk to a light froth. These meat balls are like small souffles.

They can be made in two phases. First the mixture, placed overnight in the frig and cooked in the morning.

They are better kept warm from cooking ,than cooled and re-heated.

The bowl is more like a basin. The meat goes in first, the onions. the breadcrumbs,the seasoning. eggs and milk are added last. If your wrists are not strong enough to mix with a fork until thoroughly blended, use your hands. They will be cold but the ingredients must be fully blended.

Stretch plastic film over the surface of the mixture and tuck it in at the sides to keep air out. But don't press it down. The beaten milk and the eggs are what makes the mixture light, texture fluffy and the  flavour even..

Place two large plates side by side and keep them sprinkled with flour and salt.  Heat oil to cover the bottom of a large electric fry pan. Or use two pans on the stove.

Heat the crock pot.

Spread double thickness of paper towel on the counter nearby.

I use a teaspoon and the hollow created by closing my thumb for shaping the meatballs. Drop a number on to the flour, roll , then shale in cupped fingers to remove excess flour. Don't put too many in the pan at the same time. You need room to move the little morsels about to cook and crisp evenly.

A single meat ball doesn't take long to cook. But it will take a couple of hours for the whole recipe.

As you move along. more should be waiting  to be dropped into the pan, moved about, lifted out with a slotted spoon, dropped on to paper towel to drain and transferred to the crock pot. It should be on low heat.

The pan needs to be scraped often to remove crispy crumbs of flour and juice from the bottom and leave a clear surface for a fresh batch

The meat balls will stay hot and juicy in the crock pot for as long as they last. Which after the crowd arrives, is not long.

Critical is keeping an eye on grandsons to make sure they keep others in mind.

It would never do to have to say "I had meatballs but you got here too late."

To be sure,there's little fear of that happening. It's an ample supply, though seldom are there any left. My grandson Patrick Buck,the artist,comes from Ottawa for my meatballs and of course to visit his family.

The sauce is  regular barbecue. Onions chopped and cooked to golden translucency in a pot. Ketchup and water,vinegar and lemon juice. Worcester sauce and mustard, brown sugar,salt and pepper and chopped celery and chopped green pepper all flavoured to taste with the vegetable pieces small and translucent.

The sauce can be made the night before. Brought to a fast boil, turned down immediately and left to simmer gently like jam, to a sticky consistency,sufficient to cling to a delicate juicy morsel of meat on a stick dipped halfway, the pan preferably kept hot.

Savoury cooking over a period of hours means smells waft from the house.

Those who know what's cooking are welcomed by the  aroma  the moment they step from the car.

It's a labour of love.