Jamie’ Swedish Meatballs and the Creative Benefits
Posted on January 27th, 2013
This post is also available in: Romanian
“The habit of writing thus for my own eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments.” – Virgina Woolf
I have been driven to write here many times. From inside, I felt things needed to be explored and I started to write small paragraphs with no schedule, ideas that could be soon part of a story, written or photographed. Sometimes I really need a space in order to create. But not exactly the space matters, but the quiet is around it. Sometimes the radio accompanies with my favorite music just to spice up the environment. So, I anchored even stronger in my mind, the thought that the atmosphere matters for me while creating. Music gives me most of the time a wonderful feeling, and helps me ignore the outside world and concentrate better on my feelings. It gives strength, passion, courage, desire. Nevertheless, I know, I don’t necessarily nee, a space, an atmosphere to be able to work. I can work with ordinary distractions around me, as my brain got used somehow to ignore most of the things I’m not interested in at that moment. And for sure, this must be good. If you are waiting too much for things like creativity, inspiration to happen, then most probably, something is wrong, as most of the time, inspiration will happen in the most unexpected places and situations. Whenever I have something on my mind, I make sure to put it in a form or another in a draft, that can be later on developed. I don’t really like to postpone an idea, because most probably, the next day you will not remember it or you will postpone it until will never happen.
If an idea matters to me, I’ll make sure to mark it down somehow. If I’m with friends, maybe discuss it, if I’m at work, maybe sketch quick summary notes, if I’m at home, start to do it. As matter of fact, being with friends really helps me integrate other type of characters, into a more creative idea of a project. I like to see something which is outside my reality, approach, and to include it into my vision. Like this time for these Swedish meatballs, when a friend jumped in to help to flambée the meatballs and to complete the frame of the photographs. And it was fun!
However, sometimes I tend to postpone even a very well defined project, because I think it will be hard to get people involved in it. As I see more and more my photographs as an dialogue, jumping up from one dimensional side of story, to a communication of 2 or more characters, is hard to estimate if people will get enthusiastic about a point of view that only you envision it. But because I have some guts about it, I use it as a good reason to involve friends to see my story. So this friend’s hands here, that artistic face of my colleague there, and more to come, but don’t forget, that on both sides for sure will be a lot of fun. And the realization of the idea may surprise all of you. As side note, I want to tell you also, I started to work on the 4th issue of What Liberty Ate magazine (wouahhh, times really flies), where you will find a lot of very, very new concepts, delish recipes home made and 100% organic, outstanding design and gorgeous photographs, maybe featuring beautiful friends that may turn into muse. Can’t wait to share with you all more, soon! Till then enjoy this wonderful lunch or dinner idea, somewhere in a warm place, where you can see the snow and have fun with your friends. I used cranberry jam in the sauce, please don’t omit it as it is really enhancing a lot, the dish’s flavors!
Swedish Meatballs (recipe by Jamie Oliver – 15 Minutes Meals)
Ingredients for the meatballs (makes 4-6 servings)
a handful of mixed fresh herbs, such as dill, flat-leaf parsley or chives, roughly chopped
300g minced pork, the best quality you can afford
300g minced beef
1 large egg, preferably free-range or organic
75g dried breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon ground allspice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ingredients for the sauce:
juice of ½ a lemon
300ml beef stock, preferably organic (if using a stock cube, ½ is enough)
1 tablespoon plain flour
60ml double cream
1 x 200g jar of lingon berry, cranberry, blackberry or blackcurrant jam, to serve
1. Set aside a few of the herbs, then put the rest into a large bowl with the pork, beef, egg, milk, breadcrumbs and allspice. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper, and mix it well. Divide the mixture in half, then pat and roll each half into a sausage shape. Cut each one into 15 equal pieces, then wet your hands and roll 30 little balls. Keep wetting your hands as you go so you get nice round elegant meatballs. Put them on a large oiled tray, then cover with clingfilm and pop into the fridge for 1 hour to firm up.
2. Preheat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan.Once hot, add the meatballs and fry gently for 10 to 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until they are golden brown.
3. Transfer the meatballs to a large plate. Spoon away any excess fat from the pan, then add the lemon juice, a splash of stock, the flour, the cream, a heaped tablespoon of lingon berry or berry jam and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and reduce until you have a nice consistency that will cling to the meatballs. Taste it, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Return the meatballs to the pan and move them around so they get coated in the sauce.
4. Server the meatballs drizzled with the sauce left in the pan and with a few spoonfuls of warmed-up jam on top. I served them next to celeriac basmati rice, which was wonderful!