Friday, September 4, 2009

From the Vault: Cloudy with a chance of Vegetarian Meatball Subs and Deep Punk Cuts

The rain was pouring down super thick yesterday as J-Fur and I drove slowly to a meeting that, ironically enough, wasn't until next week. Earlier in the day my class and I were discussing hard rain, food falling from the sky, and how this can transform their writing. I fully expected (hoped?) a nice veggie burger would fall and hit the windshield of my car. Looking up I could see nothing so when it did land it would do so with a start. Probably similar to when my pal JH was taking us on a tour of Minneapolis and her car hood flew up and cracked her windshield. Boy did I jump then. Veggie burgers aren't hard enough to crack windshields right? The last thing I need is another car issue (thanks Vic the cell phone talker).

Anyway, this line of thinking and the conversation with my students, were inspired by a book I read as a kid (and continue to read every year to my class), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judy Barrett. This year's group seemed to be more familiar with the story than past classes. When one of the students informed me that the book was being made into a movie that would be out on September 17th I realized why. Double checking when I arrived home I found his statement accurate. This book is coming out in movie form. I don't like kids' movies so I probably won't go see it (unless J-Fur who loves kids' movies forces me to).

Meatballs Grinders were the subject of my last playlist as they are one of my favorite sandwiches (both before and after I became a vegetarian). I thought when I became vegetarian good meatball grinders were a thing of the past. I was right, the store bought ones don't taste very good, until J-Fur's mom introduced us to a recipe she collected some years prior. The first time she made these meatballs there were two batches, one veggie, one not. I swore all night I kept grabbing the wrong one because they tasted so real but she assured me I wasn't. Only after I made them myself did I completely relax about the whole situation. Our featured recipe (and remember):

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatball Sub
(printable recipe)

-2 cups of unsalted saltine crackers (50 squares)
-1 cup of shredded colby cheese
-1 cup of finely ground pecans (I use pecan powder)
-1/2 cup finely chopped onion
-6 eggs
-2 cloves of garlic
-1 tsp. of sage

-2 Tbs. of oil
-tomato sauce
-sub rolls


1. Mix all the ingredients except oil and sauce in a large bowl.

2. Shape into balls.

3. In a skillet or wok brown the balls over medium heat for five minutes.

4. Remove the balls with a slotted spoon and layer in a baking pan.

5. Top with tomato sauce, cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

6. Spoon the meatballs onto a slightly toasted sub roll and enjoy.

According to J-Fur's mom she came across this recipe sometime in the 1970's. Since my playlist delved into the new music that I listened to while making these meatballs I figured I'd include some songs with this post that were slightly older. These are the songs that would've been on a playlist had I made this recipe circa 2001, 2005, or 2008. I'm not going back to Crass or Dead Kennedys era, only about a third of the way there.

The Fleshies originally released their album Kill the Dreamer's Dream in 2001. For some reason it took them five years to make a video for the song "Meatball." This isn't my favorite track off the album (that would be "South Miami Beach") but it is the most appropriate. Due to the language, I wouldn't share this video with my second graders.



Another song that shouldn't be played for a classroom full of seven year olds is "Broke" by Jacksonville's Whole Wheat Bread. The band members came together over their love of hip hop and punk music in 2003. Realizing that two of the members played guitar they decided to pursue music via the punk path. Their first album, Minority Rules, was released in 2005 on Orlando label Fighting Records. Since then they have collaborated with Lil' Jon, changed bass players twice, and toured extensively with the likes of the Bouncing Souls, MxPx, the Suicide Machines, and Killah Priest (of Wu-Tang Fame). Whole Wheat Bread's most recent release, Hearts of Hoodlums, came out in January of this year.



Fight Like Apes are no strangers to Write.Click.Cook.Listen. Their song Something Global was part of our Can You Tell Me What's in This Mix. "Tie Me Up with Jackets" is off of the same album, Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion, a 2008 release.




This is the first of back 2 back balls recipes or (B2BBR). The next one will come your way later this weekend.