Cleaning Out the Pantry #2 Teriyaki Meatballs

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In the last two weeks, several of the pet related blogs I follow on Word Press and Instagram have lost one of their beloved animals.  For the most part the response has been a sincere expression of condolence and sorrow at what these lovely people are going through. However, being the internet, there is always someone who has to be a thoughtless asshole.  Well, maybe that isn’t entirely fair as you can’t hear tone of voice or read body language or the other things that convey intent in a comment.  I get that.  I also get that when a friend is hurting it is often hard to know what to say, especially if we have never experienced a loss like what our  friends are going through. So today I am going to post what not to say to someone who is grieving the loss of a pet.

  1. It’s just a  … insert type of  pet here.   I can speak from experience on this one.  My pets are not just my pets.  They are just as much my friends as my best friends, Steph and Debby. Their loss hurts me as much as loosing Steph or Debby would.
  2. You can always get another … insert type of animal here.  Your right, I can always get another bird, gerbil, rat, dog or cat but they will never replace the one I just lost. Each of my animals has unique personality and spirit that can never be replaced.
  3. Never, ever tell a person who had to put their animal to sleep they are a horrible person for putting their animal to sleep.  Most insensitive comments can be put down to just not knowing what to say to a person who is grieving the loss of their pet.  This one can just be taken one way.  It’s mean and unforgivable.  Yeah, I can speak from experience on this one too.  The person who called me a horrible murderer for putting my beautiful rat, Gracie, to sleep didn’t have to watch Gracie, waste away because she couldn’t stand to get to the food bowl.  She didn’t stand next to me when my vet said that there was nothing that would make Gracie better and that Gracie was in a lot of pain. She didn’t cry my tears as I told Dr. Dill to ease my baby girl’s suffering by putting her to sleep.  No one who loves their animals makes this decision lightly or easily.  This is not the time or the place to discuss your feelings on euthanasia.  Keep this comment to yourself.

It is okay if you don’t know what to say in the face of someone’s grief.  If your not sure what to say, give a hug, a friendly hand on the shoulder, sit and listen if the person wants to tell stories about their lost one.  Sometimes just sitting quietly with someone who is grieving can be the right thing to do.

Today’s recipe is an adaption of a recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. The pantry item I used to make it is ground beef.

Teriyaki Meatballs

Sauce:

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp garlic powder

2 1/2 TBS brown sugar

1 TBS honey

1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar

1 TBS cornstarch

Meatballs

1 lb lean ground beef

1 large egg

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

3/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1 to 1 1/2 TBS milk

1 1/2 tsp canola oil

To make the sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well. Set aside.

To make the meatballs,  combine all the meatball ingredients, except 1 tablespoon oil and the green onions.  Use your hands to mix the ingredients well.  Form the meat mixture into balls an inch or two in size.  Set aside.

In a large  skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers.  Add the meatballs  to the skillet in a single layer and brown on all sides.  The meatballs don’t need to be cooked all the way through just browned on all sides.

Pour the sauce over the meatballs and gently turn to coat.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook 10 – 15 minutes, turning the meatballs to coat with sauce every once in a while, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve with rice and a sprinkle of green onions.

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