One day a coworker came to me on a Tuesday and said “Rosie, we’re having a potluck on Thursday. Bring whatever you like.” Total panic. OMG – one day to plan a dish, one day to make the dish – what to do? What to bring?
It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t “wow” them during the holidays every year (when potlucks are planned well in advance). It wouldn’t be so bad if only I didn’t hear from my coworkers the throughout the day “Can’t wait to see what you come up with, Rosie.” After all, my Turkey Cheese Ball was a real eye-catcher.
Whatever I did, it had to be spectacular, something I could whip up quickly. Tuesdays and Wednesdays were the worst days at work – long, stressful and unpredictable. I might get home by six in the evening or ten o’clock at night – it was impossible to tell. The only thing I had going for me was that the party supply industry was in its slow season, so the insanity of the business would be at a manageable level.
I thought about bringing a tray of deviled eggs. My deviled eggs are always an office favorite. I’ve even whipped up Deviled Quail Eggs garnished with Red Caviar. While the idea of deviled eggs did cross my mind, it’s one of those trays I always make – and as popular as they are, it’s becoming a rut. I needed to think outside the box – go for something different.
What about a Checkerboard Cheese Antipasto Platter? Colorful, flavorful and not very complicated to make. That would be nice – but Hubby doesn’t eat cheese and I wanted to make something he would like, so toss that idea out the window.
Of course there was my 37-Layer Taco Dip, a popular choice for large groups. Nix that thought – I had made it recently as part of our Super Bowl party. (And just for the record, it doesn’t have 37-Layers – that’s just what Hubby calls because he thinks it’s really big. In reality, it’s still a 7-layer dip).
I even considered that old potluck stand-by – the Cocktail Sausages in Barbecue Sauce – but again it was a case of been there, done that. The rest of the day was spent working with only half a brain, the other half was busy visualizing recipes and making pro and con lists. (Thank you Lord for allowing my brain to concentrate on work while running party ideas at the same time).
Then it struck me – Teriyaki Meatballs. Rather than make the meatballs from scratch, I could use the frozen variety. That would save time. And my Teriyaki Sauce is delicious – why not combine the two? Put it all together in a crock pot and let ‘er cook. By the time lunch time rolled around, everything should be piping hot and ready to serve. All I needed to do was a little prep work in the morning. Deep breaths – this was going to be awesome! Just a predicted, the crowd love them, and Hubby was pleased.
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon cold water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup soy sauce
½ cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grated or ground ginger (fresh grated is best)
2 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can pineapple chunks, juice reserved
3 lbs Frozen Meatballs, plain
Dissolve cornstarch in cold water. In a small saucepan over low heat, pour cornstarch mixture.
Add sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, ground black pepper and pineapple juice. Increase to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently until sauce thickens and bubbles, about 20 minutes.
Place meatballs and pineapple chunks into a large crock pot.
Pour sauce over meatballs, stir to blend.
Cook meatballs on HIGH for about 2 hours. Turn crock pot to low, continue to cook about 2 hours longer, stirring occasionally to baste meatballs in sauce.
Serve immediately or reduce crock pot to warm and serve when ready.
These can be served alone, as an appetizer or served over sticky rice for dinner.