• 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 2 lbs Ground Pork
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic Crushed
  • Fistful of Basil Chopped
  • 3 Eggs
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Zucchini noodles.

Zucchini PastaEach Thursday I cook at our house for my clan(2 adults, 2 kiddos) and my Brother and Sister in law’s family(2 adults, 3 kids). Today was my nephew’s last day of 2nd grade and we wanted to celebrate the achievement (Celebrate Your Successes!!!). My nephew wanted spaghetti and meatballs for dinner so I got to work in the kitchen early.

Every time I make meatballs they’re a little different depending upon what I have around, what kind of meat is available, if I’m in the midst of a covert vegetable mission, where the stars align that day, etc… Today I had a huge basil plant in the garden just waiting for a harvest so I headed out this morning and snipped a bunch off. I decided not to use any binder this time(almond meal). I also figured since these were celebratory meatballs requested by my non veggie loving nephew I wouldn’t try to “sneak” anything in on them. I can honestly say these were some of the tastiest meatball morsels I’ve made to date.

Meatballs with Garlic and Fresh Basil

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Mash all the ingredients together in a bowl combining thoroughly.
  • Taking a spoon size of your choice, scoop meat out and roll in to similar sized balls lining them up on a baking sheet as you go.(side note, grease the sheets or line them with foil for easy clean up).
  • Pop these bad boys in the oven for 30 minutes (1 1/2″ balls) or until they are cooked through and they’re good to go.

We added ours to two delicious jars of homemade sauce I was fortunate enough to receive from my good friend at Cindy’s Table. I poured the sauce over the meatballs after baking them and left them in the crockpot to keep warm for 3 hours until it was time for dinner.Cindy's Table Sauce

After making the meatballs I loaded my kiddos in the car and went to the toy store to buy a big plastic hard sided pool(Sorry Babe, you were out of town so I decided to bring one home:)…..). We’ve tried the inflatable varieties and they always get slimy and never end up getting deflated and put away properly so I decided this would be a good option to use, empty and stow sideways next to the shed. I bought a 35 gallon sized pool and the kids were ecstatic. We came home, filled it up and hours of splashing commenced.

After all the fun had passed and the 4lbs of meatballs with zucchini noodles had been eaten I decided to water my garden with the water in the pool. Let me just say, I was totally delusional re this process in a number of ways. First I thought I would just plop a garden hose in the pool and elevate one side and it would magically flow out the other side of the hose, wherever I put it. Yeah….. my brother-in-law pointed out I would need a siphon for that. Then I decided I could just use my brute strength from crossfit and move the pool to the garden beds I wanted to water and slowly pour it out as needed. Yeah….. my 1rm deadlift is a 220 and the pool weighed a heck of a lot more than that. Even putting my whole body in to it I couldn’t get the blue beast to budge.

Finally I decided to fill watering cans and just walk the water to all of my different garden areas. This is what I did but let me say that it took me over an hour and a half to get to the point that I felt everything had received enough water to make it through another day of our stifling heat. Even then about a third of the pool remained full of water. I ended up calling it quits(it was almost 10pm) and flipping the sucker over on the lawn…. Hey, it wasn’t a total misuse of H2O, Grass needs water too right!

The great thing that came out of what started as a long and arduous watering process is it turned in to a moving meditation of sorts. I remembered I was gardening for the joy of it. I was able to move around the yard, listen to the girls giggle, watch them flip on the trapeze and move across the money bars. I got to talk to my neighbors. At the end of it all I got to enjoy a nice quiet summer evening in my yard, I just got to be….

Do you garden? Is it a labor, is it a love, or do you find it somewhere in between?