Welcoming Cooler Weather with Comfort Food

by Amber Mikaelsson

One of the best parts of the cooler months for my family is breaking out the recipe books and planning out some of our favourite warm belly meals to look forward to as the temperatures drop. We tend to eat lighter meals in the summer, often opting for a simple grilled protein, bbq potatoes, and a salad many nights. But come Fall we are ready to turn the oven on for some slow baking, stick-to-your-ribs, tried and true family favourites.

I have several favourite books in this stack, but will admit to gravitating to the Joy of Cooking, anything from the Best of Bridge, and one very special book most often. My husband’s family is from a small farming community in Saskatchewan, and they know how a hearty warm meal can bring comfort on the coolest of days. In 2003 the local parish compiled the community’s favourite recipes into a cookbook, which I was given by my mother in law when it became clear they were stuck with me.

Admittedly there are recipes in the book I am apprehensive to try, like “Shipwreck”, (A mix of rice, potatoes, onions, tomatoes soup, and ground beef), or “Ham Balls”, but I have yet to try a recipe in this book that isn’t a winner. This particular recipe is from a beloved aunt and a favorite with my 5 and 7-year-olds who love saucy meatballs. I love the use of rice cereal as a binder instead of breadcrumbs since I’m much more likely to have the cereal on hand! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Paulette Fiolleau’s Sweet and Sour Meatballs

  • 1.5lb ground protein
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2 cups rice cereal
  • 1tsp black pepper
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1 egg
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 can pineapple, optional
  • 1 can mushrooms, optional

Preheat oven to 325F. Mix protein, salt, pepper, cereal, onion, and egg together by hand, form meatballs. Place in oven safe dish. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over meatballs. Bake at 325F for 1 hour. Serve with rice or noodle.

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