There are some little things about raising our babies that I never want to forget. Like our bedtime routine. When we put the boys to bed, I will tell them a bedtime story that I make up. Every story starts the same: There once were two little boys. And they were so beautiful. And so kind. And so smart. And they were brave. And they were strong. And they went on an adventure…”
The boys typically ask that the story revolve around looking for pirates, that they find a pirate ship and eat ice cream, and that they go back home and tell me all about their adventure. I have told some version of this story hundreds of times. Some nights it is too late to tell the little boy story, and sometimes I am so tired from a day of crazy, wild boys refusing to listen for the majority of the day that I want to skip it. But I know someday that JR and Maxie will go to bed, and they won’t beg for me to tell the little boy story. And then someday I won’t even remember what the little boy story was even about. And I’m not sure which make me more sad. So most nights, I tell the little boy story.
JR and Maxie’s obsession with pirates has extended to most areas of our life, including mealtime. Forks and spoons are now swords. Then one day they asked to eat the same food that pirates eat. I had already planned to make something with ground beef. I just didn’t know what. So I decided to find something new that I had never made. That way, the boys would get their pirate food and I could branch out with ground beef recipes. And that is how I ended up making Greek meatballs. Yes, I am aware that Greek food is not pirate food. But Greece is on the water so close enough for my toddlers.
These meatballs are an excellent twist to my typical Italian ones. I paired them with Greek-style rice (ie: white rice cooked with white onions doused with lemon juice and sprinkled with oregano and garlic) and the Mediterranean bean salad. And dipped everything with hummus and tzatziki sauce. It may not be an authentic pirate meal. But my two pirates cleaned their plates.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 yellow onion grated (yep, grated)
- 1 egg
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoons pepper
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grab your cheese grater and grate the onion over a plate so you can collect the juices. Then mix the grated onion with its juices with the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl.
- Combine with egg, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss beef into the bowl and then form into golfball sized meatballs.
- Place each meatball into a baking sheet.
- Drizzle the melted butter over the meatballs (if you have any fresh herbs, toss with the butter. I didn’t so no herb butter for us).
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve with the butter from the pan.
Slightly modified from: Bowl of Delicious