Everyday recipes, life and craziness from Jen's house.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Helen's BBQ Meatballs and a Walk Down Memory Lane

June 17, 1995
BBQ Meatballs
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1-1/2 c. oats
½ c. milk
1 egg
½ chopped onion
1/2 t. garlic powder
¾ t. pepper
1 t. salt

Mix all ingredients together and form into 12 meatballs.  Place in a greased 9x13 baking pan.  Pour sauce over meatballs.  Cover with tin foil and bake at 350* for 1-1/2 hours. This recipe is easily doubled (or even tripled!)  just remember to double (or triple!) the sauce.  Enjoy~

BBQ Sauce
1 c. ketchup
¾ c. brown sugar
1 T. liquid smoke
1/2 t. garlic powder
½ onion, chopped

Mix all ingredients together and pour over uncooked meatballs.

This is my mother-in-law Helen’s recipe.  She made these meatballs one of the first times I visited their house in Iowa.  16 years later, I still enjoy when she makes them!  Since Jeff and I just celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary, I decided to take a walk down memory lane.  We didn’t have the typical dating life, engagement, wedding or even first year of marriage.  (I think most military families can relate!) I’m not sure what I expected, but my life has turned out far better than I ever imagined! 

Dating:  Jeff and I met in Wiesbaden, Germany.  We were both in the Army and lived in the same barracks building.  One Saturday night in February 1994, Jeff and I went to a party together.  Two days later, he left for Norway for about 3 weeks.  The day he returned from Norway, there he was knocking on my door, still smelling like wood smoke, asking if I’d like to watch a movie. And the rest is history!  During the months we dated, we spent time apart due to Army life…field problems and work schedules.  (Throw in two broken arms from a bike accident and a 30 day convalescent leave to Maine)  

Engagement:  In March of 1995, Jeff’s two years in Germany were up and he was on his way to Ft. Rucker, Alabama for training and then on to Ft. Benning, Georgia.  I was due to move to Ft. Riley, Kansas in January 1995.    One night shortly after Jeff left Germany, I got a phone call from him.  You have to remember that this was before everyone cell phones…in my barracks there was one phone per floor, which was sitting on the floor in the hallway.  No table, no chair, just a phone sitting on the floor.  So there I was, in my pajamas, sitting on the floor in the hallway talking on the phone when Jeff asked me to marry him!  We decided to get married on June 17, 1995 in Maine and he would send me my engagement ring.  A week or so later, I got my engagement ring in the mail!  While I was waiting for my ring, I stalked the mail room every day.  I would check it at lunch, just in case, and then beg to leave work just a little bit early so I could check again.  Then one day, it was there!  I was officially engaged, ring and all!  I have never run into anyone else who received their engagement ring in the mail!    

Our wedding:  My parents pretty much planned our wedding (thanks Mum and Dad!)  I told them the date, the church I wanted to be married in, the color of flowers for bouquets and away they went!  I flew to Maine on Sunday, bought my wedding dress on Tuesday, Jeff flew in on Wednesday, bought our wedding rings on Thursday, his parents few in on Friday and we got married on Saturday.  I flew back to Germany on Thursday and Jeff flew back to Georgia on Friday.  Call it a whirl-wind wedding, but it was perfect!  Beautiful weather, beautiful church, beautiful reception at my parent’s house on the ocean.  I have such happy memories of our wedding…even though my mum fell down in the church and hurt her thumb.  In all of the pictures, she has her thumb up, Fonzie style…not because she thought she was cool, but because her thumb hurt!

Our first year of marriage:  We lived apart for the first 6 months of being married.  I lived in Germany, Jeff lived in Georgia.  On Christmas Day 1995, I left Germany.  Thanks, Kathy Silver for driving me to the airport!   I finally arrived in Iowa Christmas night and Jeff and I had our first married Christmas together.  1996 began with us living in a small apartment in Columbus, Georgia.  Jeff was on flight status and had a crazy schedule with lots of TDY’s, schools and field time…in short, he was gone a lot!  However, he was home on our first anniversary, 17 June 1996, which was spent with dinner out and tickets to an Olympic softball game a few weeks later.

And so there you have it,  the highlights of dating, getting engaged, getting married and our first year together!  All brought to you by my mother-in-law’s meatballs.

These are not my meatballs, they are from PW.
 I am at the car dealership...waiting for my car to be serviced and I forgot my SD card with my meatball pictures!  So, PW's picture will have to do!  :)

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