Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Momma's Meat Ball Sub Sandwiches

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah , Happy Kwanzaa Happy WHATEVER YOU celebrate! Wishing you love, peace and JOY!!

Been a while since I've written anything on the blog. Wish I was a doctor as much as myself and my son have been to doctor's offices...it would wonderful to be working instead of the patient side for a change! Alas...that is not to be. I'm very grateful for all our doctor's trying to help us. 

Now it's a crazy YEAR!! Crazy election and regardless of who you voted for....WE ARE ALL STILL IN THIS TOGETHER!!  We either rise or we fall....TOGETHER. 

I'm sick this week so I'm going slow.  But binge watching my favorite TV show. My daughter over the years, for Christmas, has bought me seasons of NCIS.  I LOVE NCIS. Basically because they make forays into Appalachia and mention where I was born and lived from time to time.  I was raised a military kid, a NAVY brat. So much of it is pretty glamorized but I still like it.

So while NCIS playing in the back ground, I'm going to share a family secret recipe.  Every Christmas Eve my family gets together. It began when all of us kids had kids and it became so unwieldy to get us all together on Christmas day.  The kids wanted to drag all their toys to grandma's and when we would not let them, they wanted to hurry up, eat dinner and beg to go home. Momma remedied that. She had us get together on Christmas eve and then we were free to get together with the other in-laws on Christmas day. She and dad would then be free to go visiting or do nothing all day. Just WORKS for us.  

On Christmas Eve, we make Mamma's meatball sub recipe. You get tired of the same old holiday fare and it's a break from the usual.  That recipe came from Norfolk VA. My dad was stationed there his last tours of the Navy before he retired. There was this sandwich shop in the 60's and 70s, that existed somewhere near 13th Bay St and Ocean View Ave. I can't even remember the name of it. 

Made the BEST sub sandwiches long before there was a subway. We would get that treat from time to time when he was stationed there. But it was after he retired that we visited on a yearly trip we looked forward to. We took that trip to visit my sister who stayed in the area and my dad made his way to the naval store to buy his yearly supply of shoes...he never liked civilian shoes, and his civvies, i.e. underwear. After being military for years he never could STAND civilian underwear, shoes or socks.  It's just what we did and our favorite sandwiches from that shop were their meatball subs.

Mom got to know the owners pretty well over the years. The last trip to the sandwich shop in the mid seventies, we learn the owners were closing shop and retiring. Moving to Florida. The realization that was going to be the last favorite meatball sub sandwich we would get from our favorite shop was a bit upsetting. As we sat there and waited for our to go sandwiches, mom was telling them how much we were going to miss them. When our sandwiches were ready the owner put the hand written recipe for her meatball subs in my mother's hands and gave her a hug. And that's how mamma's meatball sub recipe came about. 

There is no other recipe like it. I know because I lost it once and went looking on-line and in the library, never found one exactly like it. But I found it again, luckily stashed in a phone book before I threw the phone book out.  So I'm going to share a family secret recipe. Just like all recipes you just have to modify it to suit yourself. Depending on how many we have visit we double and sometimes triple it. 

I realize there are some unscrupulous people out there stealing recipes, not giving credit, adding them to collections for sale to make a buck. I don't roll that way.  I wanted to share this as a gift before it's lost to memory. Be forewarned it wasn't given to make a buck and therefore according to natural laws we go by you can't sell a gift that is not meant for gain and have it be successful. So just a reminder, Karma, of which I know exists.....is a B!TC#!

Mamma's Meat Ball Subs

In a large bowl- Mix well

3 lbs. lean ground beef

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 medium green pepper, finely chopped

2 stalks of celery, finely chopped

1 large clove of garlic, minced fine

Bread crumbs, Old bread toasted in the oven about 3 cups at least. Crumbled

2 large eggs

1 tsp. Chili powder

1 tsp. Sage

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

Roll into meat balls on a tray. Mine average at least 2 inches in diameter. The larger they are the longer you cook them. 

Take a large skillet, heat hot oil. Brown meatballs in oil until they are well browned and hold together well. Place meatballs after frying in a large pot. The bits and pieces of veggies that end up floating in the oil. Take a slotted spoon and put those in the pot too. 

Cover meatballs in pot with cold water. Bring to a boil and boil for 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and place meat balls back in pot. This gets rid of a lot of fat. Watch clogging up your sink.

I make the sauce in a separate pot.  And you can use your favorite bottled sauce too if you are in a hurry. 


1 small clove garlic minced
3 cups water
3 cans tomato paste 6 oz.
1 tsp parsley flakes 
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp sugar..(owner said it cuts the bitter of the tomato paste)
1 tsp salt
1/4  tsp pepper

Stir until heated through. Pour over meatballs in the large pot, bring to a boil, cook on low 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. 

We serve them on sub rolls with mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, green pepper, lettuce, tomato or just plain with the cheeses.  

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.  Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year!!!