It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, around here. A few more things to wrap, a few more cookies to bake and decorate, rum balls and candy to finish… there’s light at the end of the holiday tunnel.

I really do love this time of year but about this time every year, I start wishing for a bit less clutter and everything back in its place. When one bakes a few thousand cookies, one needs supplies close by. The extra dozen sheet pans and the extra cooling racks from the basement come upstairs – and stay upstairs until the baking is finished. And the chocolate, the non pareils, colored sugars, powdered sugar, flour, extracts and all the various liquors and liqueurs… all needs to be accessible. Not to mention the bins for the cookies, the trays, the cellophane, ribbon…

And while this is all going on, we still have to cook real food, feed Nonna and Blanche, and feed ourselves. Not necessarily in that order.

I am not complaining. I would rather do this than anything else – and we only do it because we want to – but the older I get, the more I appreciate a little less chaos in my life. f you look closely at the plates I used tonight, they’re from Teatro Zinzanni and on the bottom it reads Love Chaos & Dinner.”

That’s our house right now.

Somewhere in the middle of cookie baking, today, I decided I was going to make meatballs for dinner – and a bunch to freeze. If I’m going to spend the time making meatballs, I’m going to  make meatballs, dammit!

And I did. 46 of them, to be exact!

They were a combination of beef and pork – and lots of cheese!

I didn’t really use a recipe – what a shock, eh?!? – but just mixed up things that were in the house.

  • 2 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • shredded fresh parmesan
  • shredded pecorino with peppercorns
  • bread crumbs
  • eggs
  • red wine
  • salt
  • pepper
  • onion
  • garlic

Mixed it all up and baked them in a 425°F oven for 20 minutes, or so. This is before they went into the sauce…

I should have taken a picture this afternoon when the kitchen was in full swing – maybe tomorrow, if I remember…

I have to make it presentable after finishing for the day. It’s not that I’m neurotic. It’s just that I’m neurotic. Those who have worked closely with me over the years know that I am really good at making messes – but things need to be put back in the right spot – every time. I, of course, just call it being organized. Others might call it something else.

Cookie trays start on Friday.

Stay tuned.