I was not one of the cool kids growing up. I had curly bangs that stuck out in every direction. And I brushed them, so I had an out-of-control mini ‘fro goin’ on pretty much all the time.
I wasn’t a jock, I wasn’t a partier, I didn’t wear the cool brands of clothes.
I was a Girl Scout. I was chubby. I preferred wearing matching overalls with my best friend to Abercrombie’s latest line.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for the way things turned out. I think I could have been a much different person if I had been a cool kid growing and I’m pretty happy with the way things are.
But, I’ve always wondered what it would have been like to eat at the cool table. To be included in the get-togethers and invited to all the things that cool people do. Whatever those things are.
I don’t wonder anymore.
I work with a fantastic group of teachers and I now eat with a group of them. They’re called “The Lunch Bunch” and I’m now one of them. They include me when they order in sandwiches from Baggins and they offer me ice cream bars that they bring in for the group.
I no longer have the curly bang ‘fro going on, but being an interpreter tends to isolate me a bit. Teaches are always so nice to me when I’m in their classroom and they make small talk in the hallways, but that’s usually where the relationship ends. Teachers hang out with teachers and interpreters with interpreters, but this is the first year in my 6 years of interpreting that the teachers have invited me into their group.
I’m officially in the “in” crowd. The Lunch Bunch. I love it.
Don’t worry. I’m still me. Don’t let my new-founded coolness intimidate you.
P.S. The other thing that ups your cool factor? Bringing them cookies. And brownies. And Waikiki Meatballs.
These are really easy to make and you could use whatever your favorite meatball recipe is. Heck, you could use frozen meatballs if you really wanted to.
Homemade are better, though. Just sayin’.
The sauce is really simple to make, just tossing the ingredients in a skillet and boiling it until it thickens.
The meatballs are hearty, the red pepper gives it a nice crunch, and the pineapple adds sweet bites of Hawaiian essence.
I like to serve these over brown rice, but I’ve eaten them over noodles, on mashed potatoes, and plain. You really just can’t go wrong!
For the Meatballs
- 1 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/3 c. minced onion
- 2/3 c. panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 c. milk
For the Sauce
- 2 Tbs cornstarch
- 1 (13.5 oz) can pineapple tidbits
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/3 c. vinegar
- 1 Tbs soy sauce
- 1/3 c. bell pepper, chopped
For the Meatballs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all meatball ingredients together. Shape into balls (~1 Tbs each) and place into a greased 13x9 pan.
- Bake meatballs for 25-30 minutes.
For the Sauce
- Mix cornstarch and brown sugar in a skillet.
- Drain the juice from the pineapple, set the pineapple aside and add the juice into the skillet, as well as the vinegar and soy sauce.
- Heat sauce over medium heat, stirring continuously until it boils and thickens.
- Add meatballs, pineapple, and bell pepper.