There are times when you plan carefully, making sure you have a menu plan and you know exactly what you are going to do.
And then, as the poet says, “the best laid plans of mice and men gang oft astray.”
That’s when you find yourself looking at the clock, wondering how dinner time could be approaching so fast, and wondering what you will feed your hungry horde.
I have a number of meals at the ready, with the ingredients in the cupboards for times when I need to get food made quickly.
This is when I mix 1 pint of Cranberry and Fruit Sauce with an equal amount of tomato sauce and serve it over a drained jar of home-canned ham. It warms up in just a few minutes, and can be eaten with leftover fried potatoes or rice or barley.
I specify that this is HOME-canned ham, because it is not even in the same ballpark as commercial canned ham.
I’m not talking Spam here, people, I’m talking chunks of meltingly tender … well, ham.
If you’re not already canning meat at home, why aren’t you? It’s easy, saves you a lot of money, and it gives you delicious home-canned ham in the cupboard.
Rosy Meatballs Ham Meat
1 pint Cranberry and Fruit Sauce
1 pint plain tomato sauce
1 pint home-canned ham
Mix sauces. Drain ham – save the broth because it makes good soup!
Heat up the sauces in a pot big enough to catch any splatters. Add the meat and stir gently while heating through.
A few notes – This recipe is strongly inspired by Peg Bracken‘s Appendix to the I Hate to Cook Book. I’ve had this non-cook book for years and I’ve always loved it, even though I love cooking. I don’t remember the original recipe (which likely used a one pound can of cranberry jelly!), but I’ve played around with it so much over the years that most of the family considers it “That cranberry dish of yours”.
I’ve made it:
– with whole berry cranberry sauce and jellied sauce
– with homemade cranberry sauce and commercial
– in a crockpot with a bag of whole uncooked berries and an extra half cup of liquid and 1/2 cup of sugar added to the recipe
– with plain tomato sauce, Italian-seasoned sauce, and primavera sauce
– with raw meat (best for chicken breasts!) and cooked meat (best for meatballs)
– In a crockpot, in the oven, and on the stovetop
– Served on french fries, baked potatoes, rice and hamburger buns
This is a wonderfully versatile recipe. Of course, every variation tastes different.