Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Meticulous Meatball Making

Many find my meticulous meatball making moronic. (These are also people who generally can’t stand alliteration.)

However, there’s not really much more fun than making your own meatballs. For many reasons:

Making your own mince: This involves getting messy. Enough said.

Moulding little round spherical balls: This is pure relaxation. You’ve got some clay (mince) in your hand, now create. You order some meatballs in a restaurant, and it comes ready made for you – now here’s your chance to become involved in the Creation Process. I’m a perfectionist about mine – the whole “every sphere has to be exactly the same size, shape and weight” business, but when you’re the chef, you have control. Squish the meat to your will. Feel the mince ooze through your fingertips. Make them any size you will. Moulding meat has a soothing effect. For some reason it’s like moulding a brain, in fact, meatballs remind me of miniature little brains, except a bit the wrong shape and the wrong ingredients. Still, it’s animal stuff being made into a being again. Now that’s getting back to basics.

Lining the little balls up on a baking tray: They stand still in a regiment. They’re an army, and you’re in control. This is better than those little plastic soldiers Mum used to buy you as a kid, and after you’ve cooked them in the oven, you can gobble them up. Sheer power.

Ah, meatballs. How I sing your praises.

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