Meatballs: Friend, or Foe?

by : Darlene Arechederra

We all have those moments, don't we? We're right in the middle of a project, and it's simply not going well.

Like me, you may find yourself becoming irritated, wishing you could find an easier way to get the job done (or even eliminate it completely.)

I'd settle for a tool that would make quick work of it. Life is just too precious to spend time being irritated.

I found myself in this position a few weeks ago while making meatballs.

Not-So-Nice Things

Now, I grew up on a small farm out in the country. And on a farm you learn to handle lots of things. Creatures. Animals. Newborns. And occasionally, some not-so-nice things.

But, even wearing gloves, I absolutely can't stand my hands mussing about in raw hamburger. It reminds me of the slimy feel of a worm that's going on the hook for bait.

It leaves me with an uncomfortable, fluttery feeling in the pit of my stomach. Not at all how I, as a woman, want to feel.

The Journey

Now, keep in mind, this journey into the Land of the Meatball is only beginning. We've still got to scoop the burger out of the bowl. Scrape it off the spoon. And only then can we finally roll the critters into meatballs. Scoop. Scrape. Roll. Over and over.

It's like waiting for that worm to do it's job of luring in a tasty fish. It's a time thing. But, just as fresh catch is always a nice treat, I know these meatballs will be worth waiting for when the work's finished. They are serving a special purpose.

Let me share it with you.

The Strategy

Because it's so flexible, I stir up several batches of meatloaf mix every other month. I then convert them into meatballs, cooking all the batches that day. Some go for spaghetti. Others I'll freeze for meatball sandwiches or Swedish Meatballs in cream sauce. If I'm feeling lazy (smile) I simply make several meatloafs.

So why are these meatballs so important in the scheme of things? Because they keep us from eating out. They can be frozen after being cooked, which saves me huge amounts of time. We make six to eight meals out of them.

We could easily spend a minimum of $18 per meal eating out. So in money terms, it saves us an average of $126 each time I make these meatballs in a batch. You see, it's part of how I save money. It's just that important to me.

But surely there's an easier way to get the job done!

What Is It That Would 'Really' Help?

I donned my thinking cap...

Now, I knew what I wanted. A scoop large enough to make it worth digging into the bowl. Light enough to avoid aggravation of a mild carpal tunnel problem. Something that would automatically slide the mix out. And lastly, something naturally round to alleviate the tedium of rolling into balls.

I was on a Mission!

After several days of searching with no luck, I considered inventing such a tool. I changed my mind after calculating how many meatballs I'd need to make to earn my money back on the patent.

And then . . . it happened. The lightbulb clicked. The earth moved (or was that me, jumping for joy?) But I digress.

The Solution

I had found the perfect tool! And one that carries with it such sweet memories: an ice cream scoop. You know the type. As you squeeze the lever, a small piece of steel rotates inside, scooping the food out along the way. Could it get any easier than this?

Admittedly, I paid quite a price for this stainless steel ice cream scoop. But what a relief!

And you know what? I realized I had been tolerating this problem for way too long now!

Can you relate to what I'm talking about here? Have you found your own tasks difficult due to lack of helpful tools?

Take Time to Consider

If you find yourself becoming irritated while doing a chore or task, stop for a moment. Consider which part of it is bothering you. Or what is more difficult than it needs to be.

Begin a tool list. As you think of items that would make your life easier, jot them down.

Brainstorm ideas. Have friends or family members experienced the same frustrations? Ask them to share with you their own solutions or ideas.

Motivation Through Small Rewards

And, when you've completed a few tasks that aren't quite your favorites, treat yourself to one of the smaller items on your new tool list.

Life can be difficult. Some things you simply have no control over. But why not find an easier way to do the things you can control?

You'll save time and energy. Having helpful tools will even save you money.

So go ahead. Start your tool list today. It's good for the soul!