Sometimes conflict forces great new ideas. Here’s one such story in which, while I’ve always known spaghetti and meatballs to be my dad’s signature dish, I only recently learned why.
My mom grew up with four siblings, and my grandmother Betty learned to simplify meals, for obvious reasons. That meant ground beef thrown into the pan to make meat sauce, no time for ballin’ so to speak. So while raising her own young family, my mother made meat sauce, despite my dad’s preference for his mother’s traditional meatballs. Upon dad’s further insistence for meatballs she said, well…no. But out of this harmonious situation came a real opportunity, as they agreed that he could indeed have a ball, in the kitchen! So for the rest of my childhood and to this day, my dad has made perfect spaghetti and meatballs, a perennial family favorite and a source of some culinary pride. Outside of grilling and pancakes he doesn’t cook very much else, but you’ve gotta try his “chef’s special,” it is excellent.
What might have happened if my mother was in the mood to compromise at that time? Doesn’t matter, she clearly wasn’t. But I’m curious to hear your own experiences with family traditions being melded together. Ever had a conflict, with or without something good coming out of it? Please tell me in the comments.
See my recipe for Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs.