Speaking of birthdays, though perhaps not nearly so elegant as Chef Lagom's - Donna does not do much cooking around here, at all, but for the daughter's birthday she got the idea to do meatballs, as spaghetti and same are a major part of her very limited pallet. Well it worked for Donna's meatloaf, but you wouldn't think meatballs could hold together with the quantity of additions, and I think we found the limit:
2.5lbs 92% lean hamburger
1 very large sweet red pepper
3 stalks celery
4oz pork cracklings from the previous nights rendering
5 slices toast coarsely broken over all that
5 jumbo eggs then tossed in and all mushed by hand
All the veggies got sautéed, added to was fresh garlic, sage, thyme and oregano; pepper, smoked salt, merkin, teriyaki sauce. Simmered 2hrs in 1.5qts cheap spaghetti sauce (Donna and daughter's preference) using preheated sauce and crock pot, 2 hrs coasting (heat off).
I had to be careful browning the meatballs as they were on the verge of breaking, but all held together and, really, all was quite fabulous. The egg-soaked toast creating wonderfully silk bits in every bite, or perhaps that was the pork craclings as this was not noticed in the meatloaf which was made similar, if not exact. The cheap sauce even seemed to be transformed!