This recipe goes to some lengths to make this dish consisting of ground meat rolled into balls sound exciting and quick to make — but what it says to your family is “I work for a living, don’t have time to cook for y’all, can’t be bothered to stop by the drive-thru, and frankly don’t give a damn.”
Only they wouldn’t say “damn,” they’d say “fuck.” The husband, he’d probably say “damn!” when served this (if he’s particularly fond of canned cheese soup) and tuck right in. But if he’s not a fan of the soup-as-sauce method, he would probably utter a loud “fuck!” and throw his newspaper down. Only he wouldn’t be reading a newspaper, he’d be clutching a beer in a can, and a bit would splash out of the pop-top onto the table. Only it wouldn’t be a table, it’d be a countertop.
The son, he’d push his chair back and say there weren’t no way he was going to eat fluffy grass, by which he means the parsley garnish. Only it wouldn’t be a garnish made from parsley; it’d be fluffy grass.
The daughter would try to mollify her father by saying “at least it’s not Cream of Mushroom or stuffing mix like last time,” only she’d insert the word “fucking” in there a few times, and then get told off for using foul language. Then she’d sulk.
The Mom would plop down in her chair and light a cigarette, lean her head back, let out a long stream of forceful smoke, and say “take it or leave it.”
The cat would hop up onto the table and sniff it, then walk away. The dad would say “scat!” and hit it with a napkin. Only it wouldn’t be a napkin; it’d be a rolled-up copy of Guns & Ammo.
“Y’all are ungrateful sonsofbitches,” the mom would complain, then play the pity card by following up with “I work my fingers to the bone to put food on this here table and make it healthy and pretty and what do I get for my trouble?” Only she’d probably just stare at them without saying anything.
Then she’d take one of the king-sized balls and cut into it, ignoring the alarmingly pink tint at its center. She’d put a forkful in her mouth and chew.
The rest of the family would look at her.
Then she’d swallow and put her fork down and say “Jesus.”
Ground Meat Cook Book, Better Homes and Gardens, 1969