By “memory menu” I mean that this is something that I first experienced at summer camp as a young teenager. The menu for that evening was something called “Porcupine Meatballs.” (What kid wouldn’t love the idea of something so strange and exotic?) We were assured that the meatballs were made of beef, and that the “porcupine” description simply meant that those strange protrusions from each metatball were indeed grains of rice which was mixed with the beef before braising. Over these many years, I have remembered that entre often and fondly. I make it at least once each year, and tonight was the night I chose to do so yet again. What follows, however, is really updated from what I remember. (As a matter of fact, I’m not sure what else was included for that evening’s meal way back when.) All I can say now is that I have created something that is just as good, if not better, than what I ate that evening so many years ago. Sometimes, indulging in memories is all the inspiration you really need to plan a menu.

“Porcupine Meatballs” of grass-fed beef, rice, and aromatic vegetables simmered in beef stock,  served with a green chili, and tomato gravy
Cauliflower-cheddar gratin
Sauteed carrots and snap peas
House-made “southern biscuit” muffins

Vanilla Bavarian Cream with almond cookies