A Swede in Seattle flew to Denver to cook Swedish meatballs and scalloped potatoes to a dozen great people and new friends.
On a Friday in December 2016, I first learned from one acquaintance that she had found her husband on the floor of his study with an AR-15 in his mouth, and then shortly after from another that she was undergoing chemo treatment, not knowing what her future held.
We all have those days when the insight of our own mortality hits us hard, and we get reminded that we shouldn't take anything for granted. That was one of those days for me.
Even though I wasn't close with either, I decided I wanted to try contribute in some way to create a positive experience for someone that is going through a challenging time. I sent a text and offered to fly out from Seattle to Denver at some point during my acquaintance's chemo treatment and cook dinner for her, her family and friends.
While I'm sure the family was confused why someone they hardly knew would fly in from out of state to cook dinner, they accepted and saw it as an opportunity to bring their friends together. Date was set for the last weekend of January, after chemo treatment was finished, and a couple of days before she would undergo surgery.
As I headed to the airport, I was certain that TSA would have questions about my cooking equipment I had stuffed my carry-on full with. After all, an Anova and Joule sous-vide circulators can't be what most everyday travelers carry. All went well however, and flight was smooth.
Where I grew up in northern Sweden, we eat a lot of moose. And ever since I moved to the U.S., I like to cook with bison, since that's the type of meat I can find in stores that most closely resembles moose meat. So because I'm from Sweden, I thought it would be funny (because it is so stereotypical) if I would cook Swedish meatballs. But from bison. Leading up to this weekend, I made bison meatballs five times just to practice.
It was an intense couple of days. Not only was I nervous because I had never cooked for a dozen people before, but also because I felt pressure from these being mainly strangers, and because I didn't want to disappoint.
When everybody were served, was eating and it was clear everything had went well, I let myself relax, and with all tension going away, I felt like a wet puddle.
It seemed as if dinner was a success. And so was my friend's surgery.
Here's my bison meatball recipe. The ground pork is added because bison (and moose) is so incredibly lean, it needs a little help from a fatty friend.
- 1 lbs ground bison
- 1 lbs ground pork
- 4 eggs
- 1 yellow onion
- 30 g panko flakes
- 16 g salt
- 1 g white pepper
- 1 g black pepper
- 1 g allspice
- Run onion in a mixer until basically onion mush
- Work in all ingredients in bowl using hands
- Let mix sit in fridge for 30 min to let panko flakes thicken
- Roll small balls, the size of cake pops
- Fry in frying pan with butter
If you try this recipe, let me know what you think. Enjoy!