Sunday we had my grandfather's unveiling. For all of you non-Jewish readers, an unveiling marks the end of the official mourning process. My grandfather died in January, and we selected yesterday for the family to get together again at the cemetary and "unveil" the gravestone for all to see. We talked about him, said some prayers, and then went back to my parents' and, like in all Jewish events, ate!
One of my jobs to prepare for the day was to make sweet and sour meatballs. Saturday I sat at my table and made up five pounds of meatballs. I used my family's special recipe. It has been kept secret for years and years, but I will share it with you now: two cans of tomato soup for every one can of whole berry cranberry sauce. There you go. I know, really complicated.
Anyway, despite a minor problem in the beginning stages of cooking, they simmered for the rest of the day and were delicious.
As we were all sitting around eating lunch on Sunday, my relatives all asked me what was different, what did I add this time that made it so special. What was my secret? I finally sat them all down and told them:
Once all the meatballs and sauce are in the large stock pot, turn the burner on high and walk away. Make sure you stay away for five minutes longer than you really should, long enough for the bottom to burn. THEN and only then is it okay to lower the temperature to low and let the meatballs simmer.
And there you have it - the secret, special ingredient to give it that smoky taste. Delicious!