Meatballs

Meatball, Tjena-Kitchen, Flat, Meat

Meatballs originated on Earth. That’s about as close as we can get to narrowing down the point of origin for the ubiquitous comfort food, and even that may be inaccurate. We all know, when we boldly go where no gourmet grandmother in a sauce-stained apron has gone before, our initial contact with a strange, alien race includes a confrontation with the familiar yet always interesting and tasty universal joy, the meatball.

They may be made with beef, veal, pork, lamb, fowl, fish, or some mixture of meats and herbs. Before the kitchen grinder has been invented, cooks shredded and pounded the meat before forming them into balls.

And while countries prize their own notion of the dish, the meatball crosses all boundaries, thankfully trading traditions and ingredients so that no cook can predict a native version of the meatball truly unique to a specific culture. That is part of the meatball’s charm.

Why did the meatball appear independently in so many kitchens and cooking fires of early civilizations? Speculation focuses on the nature of the meat and meat’s lack in early times.

Because meat was rare, mixing it with starches and vegetables allowed the meatball to gain mass, feeding more people.

Storing meat over a long period makes it tough. Mixing it with salts, soft and vinegar foodstuffs like bread produces a tender meatball.

Leftover scraps of meat makes an economical meal in the meatloaf, with no waste of resources. The meatball, after all, is only bite-sized parts of meatloaf.

For Albanians, it is a mix of feta cheese with the meat. Indonesians serve meatballs in a bowl with noodles, bean curd and eggs. In Mexico, they use the same name as in Spain for meatballs, but the Mexicans serve their alb├│ndigas in a soup, generally a light broth with vegetables. The Poles like giant meatballs, known as golabki (No, it is not pronounced as it looks), wrapped and baked in steamed cabbage leaves. Turkey loves meatballs, boasting more than 80 variations of it, each slightly different according to the region.

Italians know meatballs as polpette. Made from beef or veal, the ingredients of polpette can also include Paarmigiano, mortadella or even b├ęchamel sauce. Italian meatballs are small, and in most areas of Italy, polpette is fried and served as an appetizer without sauce or topping to avoid masking the flavor. What Americans think of as a traditional mainstay of Italian cuisine, spaghetti and meatballs, is virtually unknown in Italy.

That’s not to say spaghetti and meatballs isn’t an Italian tradition. It is just that the dish is a culinary heritage created by Italian immigrants to America.

Italian-American Cuisine

The wave of Italian immigration to America that started near the end of the 19th century eventually was the force for making pasta a staple of the middle class from the U.S., although it took time. Harvey Levenstein and Joseph Conlin, both professors of history who researched the food Italian immigrates ate in this country, found that social workers and nutritionists under the sway of a new field at the time, food science, were aghast at the immigrants’ diet of pasta, hard cheese, vegetable, fruit and garlic. These prospective nutritional reformers declared that many fruits and vegetables, particularly green vegetables, had little nutritional value and cost too much.

The Italian immigrants generally tried to ignore the advice, growing and canning their own fruits and vegetables as much as they could. Nevertheless the immigrants did find the nutritionists were right about one thing; fruits and vegetables in the time cost too much. Meat was plentiful and cheap in the U.S., however, at least by what they had been used to in the”old country.”

The seasonings the immigrants used were conventional ones from the Campania region of Italy, chiefly because Campanians early on established themselves as grocers in the U.S., making tomato paste, oregano and garlic easier to come by than typical seasonings of different regions. Because of this, Italian-American cuisine began with a base of Campanain food, but without an abundance of vegetables and cheeses.

Levenstein and Conlin suggest the joining of meatballs with pasta and tomato sauce had its origins in a number of baked Neapolitan pasta dishes served in religious festivals. However, the meatballs in those earlier dishes were the size of walnuts or less.

Diners also became accustomed to the use of garlic, oregano and hot pepper flakes in their spaghetti and meatballs, giving birth to a brand new Italian heritage in the U.S. which was embraced across the American population.

Iced coffee

Coffee, Iced Coffee, Drink, Benefit From

If your morning starts like many people, your wake up comes in the very first sip of coffee and as you finish the first cup–or sometimes the second or third cup–you are finally ready to accept the world and face the day. But during the warm muggy days of summer, that steaming cup of coffee leaves much to be desired, so you often need to make a decision to either raise your body temperature much higher and sweat even more or go without your caffeine jumpstart in the morning. Of course, there is one other option and that is delicious iced coffee.

Iced coffee is no different from regular coffee. It may be caffeinated or decaf. You can drink it with milk-which may become a latte if made with java –or just iced cream and coffee. You may add sugar to it as you would regular coffee, but add the sugar to the strong coffee or espresso before you pour it on the ice.

There is a disagreement among iced coffee aficionados as to the proper manner of making this beverage The processes vary among coffee baristas, as well. Some simply make a pot of coffee, letting it cool slightly and then pour it on ice. Others make the coffee stronger to compensate for the water from the melted ice. Some coffee shops make pots of coffee and then cool it in the refrigerator overnight and pour it directly on ice when a customer requests.

While brewed tea was always the most popular summer beverage, brewed coffee is now moving quickly up the popularity ladder to pass tea. Part of the reason is the fresh brewed coffee beverages that taste more like an ice cream delight than a cup of coffee. The craze may have begun with frappuccinos and then spanned out to frozen lattes and other cold coffee delights. A Frappuccino is similar to a cappuccino just blended with ice and topped with delicious whipped cream–if you would like. Sometimes, additional flavorings added to the Frappuccino make an even more exotic drink. Mocha, caramel and vanilla are a few of the favorites. When you add extra steamed milk, it will become an iced latte or invert the way you add the components, putting the milk in before the espresso and you have a macchiato.

Whether you like your ice cold coffee straight up, with cream and sugar, additional flavoring or make it into a Frappuccino, iced coffee is the perfect way to enjoy your favorite wake up drink and remain cool at exactly the same time.

Pack Lunch

Brown Paperbags Lunch Bags School Lunch Sa

One of the worst things that you can do for both your pocket book and your health is spend money for fast food on a regular basis as you are at work. Sure it can be very tempting to go and buy that pre-made food, especially when there are so many services which are probably inclined to deliver food directly to your place, but you will be much better off if you avoid the temptation.

Premake Your Food
One of the simplest ways to avoid the urge to purchase that expensive fast food is to purchase all the food items that you need to make your lunches for the week. From there you should go ahead and make all of the lunches ahead of time and simply place them in the fridge or the freezer until the day that you will bring them into work.

While you will need to spend a little more time preparing foods to bring with you to work, if you do the groundwork properly it shouldn’t take over an hour or two of work during the weekend.

Since you are buying all of the food at once and making it at once you won’t spend much time cooking or shopping to receive all the lunches completed at once.

The Health Benefits
The main benefit is that you have control over the components that are going into your meals. You can be sure that you’re eating healthy ingredients that will really improve your health rather than damage it.

Saving Money
Fast food may seem cheap at the moment, but that eight dollar meal ends up being rather expensive once you pay out close to the same amount on a daily basis. It is relatively easy to purchase ingredients for less than that, especially when you are buying all that you’ll need throughout the remainder of the week.

Tips
When you’re using this method you have to think about which kinds of foods are going to keep well during the week. Rice, pasta, or beans all stay in terrific shape even after they have been cooked up.

You probably won’t want to produce things like salads or sandwiches until the day that you are going to work. The trick to getting good tasting meals without wasting a huge amount of time, is to prepare everything that you can beforehand, and put the past few ingredients into your lunch at the last minute so they still taste fresh.

If you take a small bit of time out of your weekend you can save yourself a decent quantity of money through the year, and you can make yourself into a healthier person. Making that one slight change is well worth the small slice of time, when you think about all of the benefits that you will be able to draw from it.