In the children’s book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, the weather comes three times a day and always brings something good to eat. Always, that is, until the weather patterns begin to change. The food that rains down on the town of Chewandswallow becomes less and less appetizing, and the portions get larger and larger, until the townspeople fear for their lives.
We’re not sure if this is a parable about climate change or the American obesity epidemic (neither of which was making much news in 1978, when the book was published). We do know it’s a great story, and it makes us hungry for meatballs.
You’ll find a very good chance of meatballs in our slow-cooker cookbooks. Meatballs are always popular, and can be dressed up in so many ways. Here’s one of our favorites.
Fix-It and Forget-It 5-Ingredient Favorites, page 119
Makes 8 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 2-4 hours
Ideal slow cooker size: 4-qt.
1 lb. ground beef
¼ cup uncooked long-grain rice
¼- ½ tsp. salt, optional
10 ½-oz. can tomato soup, divided
2 Tbsp. shortening, or butter
1 cup water
1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix ground beef, rice, salt, and ¼ cup of tomato soup. Shape into 1 ½” balls.
2. Brown the balls in 2 Tbsp. shortening or butter in a large non-stick skillet, being careful not to crowd them. (If your skillet is small, brown them in two batches.)
3. Place the browned meatballs in your slow cooker.
4. In the bowl, mix together 1 cup of water and the remaining tomato soup. Pour over meatballs.
5. Cover and cook on High 2-4 hours, or until the rice is fully cooked.