Or maybe it’s methadone. Yes. I believe I have just uncovered the methadone of the food world. Want to know what it is? You know you do.

It’s frozen meatballs. You heard it here, folks. Frozen meatballs.

He hasn’t shown any obvious signs of it, but my boy has been under the weather with strep throat (and staph, wherever the hell that came from) these past two weeks. We didn’t find out until Monday, but he must have had it last week, too, because that’s when they did the throat culture. Anyway, perhaps as a way to atone for being slightly annoyed by the whining, I tend to give him whatever he wants when he’s been sick. So when I asked him what he wanted for dinner, and he said with tremendous sincerity that he wanted spaghetti and meatballs, spaghetti and meatballs it was…or is.

Generally, with the exception of Trader Joe’s orange chicken–because that is stuff you would sell your own mother into prostitution for–I like to make at least the centerpiece of my dinners from scratch. I’ll season my own chicken and patty my own burgers, thanks. Most of the time I chop up my own ingredients to make salad, because while the stuff in the bag is convenient, it tastes like chemicals to me. And I usually make my own meatballs.

The problem with meatballs, though, is that I didn’t have a nice Italian grandma to teach me how to do it. My grandmother was German. She baked, as a general rule. So while I can make a decent meatball, it irks me that you can’t taste them while you’re mixing them to ensure they taste good. Because that would give me salmonella. So it takes me a while…and sometimes they’re great, and other times…not so much.

Anyway, I decided that I didn’t want to fool with mixing and dirtying bowls and using excessive profanity because the parsley fell out of the spice cabinet and into the spaghetti sauce again. So I bought a big bag of cooked frozen meatballs. You add them to your sauce of choice, heat it all up, and have time to blog while it’s melding its beefy, tomatoey goodness.

Holy mother. They were really good. They didn’t have that crusty surface that my meatballs tend to have (because I pan fry them instead of cooking them in the sauce). They were spiced well. They’re obviously not as good as meatballs made by someone who knows what she’s doing, but they were a good substitute. I’m sure anyone who actually did learn to make meatballs at her Italian grandmother’s knee is curling her lip at me, but give me a break. You ship me some meatballs, and I’ll ship you a kuchen. Capische?

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