Monday, July 2, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Saga: Episode IV: Meatball Mania

Monday morning arrived several hours too early for those of us who had stayed up late frying food and drinkin’ brewskis late into the night, so we weren’t moving particularly fast.  Nearly two entire pots of coffee were killed before we mustered up the wherewithal to whip up something to huck on for breakfast. Though we’d gotten up just after 9 AM, it wasn’t until 10:30 or so that we’d finished the head-extraction-from-ass process, after which we started getting busy preparing to make 1200 meatballs!
It seemed as though it were a good idea to sanitize all the horizontal surfaces on which we would be cooking, so I got busy scrubbing after my shower while Amanda poured us up a round and Byrnes took his turn getting cleaned up.  Conveniently enough, it took Byrnes the same exact amount of time shitting/showering/shaving as it did for us to get the kitchen scrubbed, so he got out of cleaning entirely (that rat-bastard!). :]  In fact, we had just enough time to get all of the meat pulled out of the packaging and piled up into a mountain awaiting its transmogrification into actual burger meat through the addition of a few simple ingredients.  With haste, Amanda and I quickly began to punch and mix the meat into a more homogeneous mixture while Byrnes added the appropriate amounts of seasoned bread crumbs, turkey and chicken eggs, salt, pepper, and tons of garlic!  We had to work fast because the ambient temperature was rather warm and we wanted to try to keep the meat as cold as possible, so we shoved great piles of the freshly made burger into large pots to stick ‘em back in the fridge until we were ready for the next batch.  
Though not particularly difficult, meatballing can take a considerable amount of time, even when you have three people working diligently to get the task accomplished.  We passed the time quicker by having a few brewskis, b.s.ing, and blasting some music while we portioned out just shy of 1,300  1-ounce meatballs from 106 lbs of meat!  It took an eternal 4 ½ hours to get them all rolled and ready for a flash fry session before we sent them to the deep freezer to await their fate at the festival!   

Manda, up to her usual mischief!
Byrnes, about to get wedgied!
Byrnes dropped one batch after another as I facilitated the process of flash frying and Amanda kept the suds flowing.  We gave each of the 1285 meatballs approximately a minute and a half in the brand new deep fryer to get them half-way cooked and ready for finishing up to order later on at the festival.  Of course, we sampled plenty of these suckers as we made them to ensure quality control over the whole process and they were really damn tasty, especially with a dipping sauce to dunk ‘em in!  
For those of you who’ve never had a deep fried meatball, you’re totally missing out!  Slightly crunchy on the outside with a juicy, mid-rare center, the combination of 80% beef and 20% seasoned italian pork sausage (and other seasonings!) made for an incredibly tasty hors d'oeuvre, the popularity of which would be self-evident at the festival, or so we hoped!  
After only another 4 ½ hours of flash-frying meatballs, we had managed to get them all bagged-and-tagged, then stoached in Brynestein’s brand new freezerator in preparation for the Polish Festival at Our Lady of Czestochowa the following weekend.  

Just prior to one-dunking them!
By the end of this very long, yet productive, Memorial Day Weekend, we were all thoroughly pooped out and sick of meatballs -- at least for the time being.  The three of us sat back and soaked up the last of the sun’s rays as we relaxed and had ourselves another squirt from the keg and mused about the adventure through which we had survived this crazy Memorial Day Weekend.