Thursday, February 11, 2010

Catch up post

Ah time just flies by when you're not paying attention!

This past week has been "computer connections issue week" On Saturday we had a lightening storm and a flash of lightening must have hit the telephone lines, as my router (which IS plugged into a UPS) nevertheless was fried dead in a little flash of oops. I happened to be online at the time and let out a big shriek when I saw the flash!

Fortunately I have a wireless connection so my computer wasn't hurt. But I was without the internet for most of the weekend. This was actually good as I have perfected my spicy meatball recipe, and also managed to clean up a large swathe of my piggy-ness in my study/library and small pockets of my careless mess-making throughout the house.

I was planning to make a post over the weekend and include a few pictures of "things we did in Corfu" So a couple of highlights:

The outdoor mask and costume market (a far cry from the one in Venice, but still fun and packed with odds and ends.)

There are masks and feather boas and plastic swords and hats with feathers. There are capes and confetti and noisemakers and streamers.

It's a hodgepodge of sillyness but fun to pick over. We bought stuff for a few of the favorite small children in our lives.

We also went to our favorite crepe restaurant, Crista's. It was all decorated for the carnival.

Of course we had dinner at about 9 pm, and it was mostly empty, but as we were getting ready to leave the crowds were beginning to arrive.

My leftovers were great the next day!

While waiting for our router to be tuned by our computer tech guy, we had lunch at our favorite little place on the end of the "cordon", The Nautilus which has a great view of Garitsa Bay and the old fortress from inside.

Usually in the summertime we sit outside and feed the fish or sit in the shade, but in the wintertime they have a small seating area that almost always is full of locals.

The treat here is the fresh seafood meze. Excellent pieces of fresh fish, octopus, cuttlefish, calamari, mussels, whitebait and a few whole shrimp very lightly battered and freshly deep fried crisp and hot piled together with a few black olives, tiny hot pickled peppers and a fresh lemon cut in quarters. With a cold beer it's heaven on earth.

And the view through the window of the old fortress and town is lovely no matter what the weather.

There have been a few carnival parties and charity functions for raising money for Haiti, and special needs children, but we have been caught up in the vortex of our own little world and its peripheral problems.

This weekend is the last of carnival for this year and Monday is the start of the drabness of Lent. There are many things planned for Sunday, and on top of Carnival it's also Valentines Day!

The good news is that spring is coming and Easter will be its official launch.

Spicy Meatball Recipe
(My take on a recipe by Romeo Salta and his Pleasures of Italian Cooking)

2 slices white bread
1 cup water
3 T dried onion flakes
3/4 lb ground beef (no fat)
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
1/4 cup oatmeal
2 t salt
1 t pepper
1 t basil
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t celery seed
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t crushed dried red chili peppers
chopped fresh parsley (about 3 T. chopped)

Preheat the oven to 350F or 165C. I add the dried onion to the bread and water and soak it for about 10 minutes. Drain off the excess water and then add everything to a bowl, and mix with your hands. Roll the meatballs between your hands but make them small-ish (mine are about the size of a teaspoon.) Put the meatballs on a baking pan lightly brushed with olive oil and bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently (with a spatula) make sure they're not sticking, and roll them over to bake for another 5 or 10 minutes. Drop them into your favorite red sauce.

(Keep it simple though. The meatballs have a lot of flavor. I use 2 jars of Barilla Basilico and 1 can of chopped tomatoes. I season it gently with the same seasonings as above only just a hint.)

You can also freeze the meatballs, and use them in your favorite recipes. Just cool them down when you take them out of the oven (and don't add them to a sauce) then bag them up well and put them in the freezer.

This recipe came out of a craving I had for a REAL street food meatball sandwich.  (and it's pretty good- just fresh soft bread or a roll from the bakery, some meatballs cut in half, sauce and some shredded mozzerella cheese!  Melt the cheese in the microwave and ta-da! homemade street food!  I just had one for lunch and it was totally yum.)


  1. That meatball recipe sent me to the kitchen cupboard. I am going to try that!
    The seafood meze had me thinking longingly of summer.....and wondering where round here I could ever find a restaurant which could do it.

  2. Oh the meatballs sound delicious Jes. Shame I can't get pork here but I'm sure I could adapt the recipe. Your router being hit by lightening reminded me of a time when the same thing happened to my electric blanket. Suddenly a bang and a burning smell. Fortunately I wasn't in bed at the time, but was in the room to prevent my bed going up in flames!

  3. Well I can't cook anything that's not suppose to be black or on fire at the end of it but they sound amazing. All I need to do now is find some unsuspecting person to cook them for me...

  4. Dear Fly,
    Those meatballs are really tasty and totally addictive (you pop one in your mouth for a taste and oops, you've picked out three more!) Next time I'll freeze half the recipe so I'll have another couple of meals worth. T really enjoyed them, and when i went to the fridge discovered a small container full of sauce- and no meatballs!

    Dear Ayak,
    I for one am glad you weren't charred by your electric blanket! Electricity works in such mysterious ways... at least around the Mediterranean...

    Dear Lacey,
    Come for a visit! I'll make them for you! No seriously if you put all the ingredients in little bowls around your big bowl of meat- all you have to do is dump it all together and (take your rings off!) smush it around with your hands- and pretend you're making mud pies! then make little snow balls and put them in the oven to cook. (seriously- they really are easy to make) The sauce doesn't even need seasoning- just open a couple of spagetti sauce jars and ta-da!

    by the way, you have a great name for a romance writer!

  5. Oh I want to try that. I'm getting bored with the go-to meatball recipe I've been going to for a decade now.

  6. Dear tattytiara,

    It IS pretty good. I just finished the last of the meatballs - again in a sandwich- splashed with sauce and buried under mozzarella cheese, then popped in the microwave for a quick blending of flavors (and melting of sticky cheese!)

    tres yum.

    (welcome by the way! greetings to Canada!)



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