33 degrees. It's icy out there.
River, Sam Smith
The flu is going around something fierce. Two members of our family were really sick last week, which amounted to school absences, missed play rehearsals, and skipped hockey practices. To my complete dismay, all of our routines and schedules flew out the window and normal life came to a grinding halt. There were many sleepless nights filled with coughing, tossing and turning. I bought gobs of cough drops and boxes of tissues. I made a pot of turkey noodle soup and we hunkered down together on the couch. I’m happy to report that I’ve successfully nursed them both back to health with a good dose of love and home cooking. I’m sad to report that now I’m the one who’s sick and I’m writing under the influence of DayQuil. Read at your own risk.
Feeling under the weather, the last thing I wanted to do was cook this week. What I really wanted was a homey, comforting plate of Swedish meatballs swimming in cozy gravy made by my Swedish aunt. One problem: I don’t have a Swedish aunt. Luckily, I happen to know somebody who knows somebody who does. My chef and food writer friend, Karista, once published a recipe for Swedish meatballs that she got from her friend Maria, who really does have a beloved Swedish aunt named Dagmar. And being that Maria is a food writer with a Scandinavian background, I thoroughly trust that she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to a perfect, time-honored Swedish meatball.
Using her aunt Dagmar’s recipe as a guide, I made my way into the kitchen. The result was a pan full of moist, tender meatballs flavored with shallots and a warming touch of allspice. While the meatballs were baking in the oven, I made the quick pan gravy. It’s creamy and subtle, a perfect companion for the meatballs. Traditionally, this dish is served with a side of lingonberry jam, but cranberry sauce is a great alternative, and I happened to have some on hand. Thanks to Maria’s aunt Dagmar, I’m feeling better already.