Last night, Tabitha helped me prepare dinner–spaghetti and meatballs. I mean my eight year old daughter really helped!

Now, for all of you who are wondering if this is a special occasion–me, preparing dinner–it’s not.

A few years ago, Julie and I were on our summer break (which is where we talk about a lot of things . . . always great fun . . .), and she mentioned how cooking was stressing her out! I explained to her that cooking relaxes me. We both grew up in traditional USA homes where wife cooked and husband ate, approvingly or disapprovingly. Ummm, change of scenario needed.

So, here we are are–I cook–with my wife mostly approving (and cleaning up).

Once again, last night, Tabitha helped me prepare dinner–spaghetti and meatballs.

I instructed her to mix the ingredients. She was fine with that until she discovered that the ingredients were raw meat and the mixer was her bare hands!

After I added the raw egg and breadcrumbs, she commenced mixing. I saw a bit of concern, but not a bit of squeamishness. I was very proud of her.

After a very good meal (Julie said it was the best spaghetti and meatballs she had ever tasted, now remember, my wife is Italian. She is also VERY honest), my daughter asked if she could cook again with me tomorrow night. Life is good!

So here’s the recipe:

1/2 pound of ground beef (85% lean)
1/2 pound of bulk pork sausage
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs (I use crumbs already infused with Italian seasonings)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic; peeled and chopped fine
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

All purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Crumble the beef and the pork into a mixing bowl (by hand!). Sprinkle the bread crumbs, cheese, parsely and garlic over the meat.

Beat the egg with the salt and pepper in a small bowl until blended. Pour over the meat mixture. Mix the ingredients with CLEAN hands until blended. Shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls.

Dredge the meatballs in the flour until lightly but evenly coated. Heat the olive and vegetable oils to medium high heat. Slip as many meatballs in without overcrowding. Fry, turning as necessary, until golden brown–about six minutes. Remove the meatballs as they finish onto paper towels to drain.

Add meatballs to your favorite sauce to finish cooking and enjoy!!!