Today is National Meatball Day; but growing up Italian in the Overbrook section of West Philadelphia, every Sunday was Meatball Day.
My mother would make a big batch of three meat (pork, veal and beef) meatballs every Sunday morning and fry them up in olive oil. Sometime in the late 80's she succumbed to specious health arguments and started to bake them. The baked version never had the crispy outside of the fried, and I have never had any better since.
My brother Neil and I would come back from Sunday mass at St. Donato's and head straight for the freshly fried meatballs my mother had set aside to cool before putting them in the gravy.
She would holler not to keep eating them before they went in the gravy, but her protests were hollow and we ignored them as we would sneak back in the kitchen for seconds and thirds before they went into the gravy.
She was concerned because she needed to stretch the meat and gravy until Thursday. My mother's pan fried meatballs are a cherished childhood memory. One that I will forever savor.
About 10 years ago, my wife Dusty and I brought her down to our home in Virginia Beach where she actually held class in our kitchen instructing our Southern friends on how to make Eva's meatballs.
Today, I have expanded on her recipe and added lamb to create a 4 meat meatball; which I fry, thank you.
So today, March 9, 2018, in honor of National Meatball Day, go home and make some meatballs and get some good Italian bread (not available in every state) and make yourself a nice meatball sandwich with a garnish of hot peppers and sprinkled with Romano and Parmesan cheese.
God how I miss my mother's meatballs.