Monday 22 August 2011

Porcupine Meatballs

If any of you have noticed the side bar on the lower right margin of this blog, you’ll see that, in addition serving up the wacky world of caker food, I also write novels. My new book, Natural Order, comes out this week. And what better way to celebrate than with this caker classic? In fact, Porcupine Meatballs are featured in one of the scenes in the novel. Talk about life imitating art imitating life imitating art!

Before you ask, no porcupines were harmed in the making of these balls. It's hard enough for cakers to find the energy to take the plastic wrap off our food, let alone de-quill an animal. I mean, get real.

One word of caution: these are some strong smelling balls. You may need to Febreeze your curtains afterwards. And your couch cushions. And your hair.

¾ pound ground beef
1 onion, minced
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup milk
½ cup cooked rice (Minute Rice can be used)
1 can tomato soup
salt and pepper

Heat over to 400°. Mix all ingredients (except soup) and shape into balls. Place in casserole dish. Pour tomato soup over top. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Cover and bake for 30 minutes more.

Source: CKOM 1250 on Your Dial in Saskatoon. Sadly, it's coverless, but here's the page with the recipe. Any bets on whether Nesbitt's Service is still in business?


  1. Congrats and bravo on your book! We always celebrated with porcupines in my house growing up, because they were my favorite food as a kid. Yay, porcupines! When my mom made them, the rice always kinda stuck out like porcupine quills after they were done cooking. I always thought that was soooo cool.

  2. We used to celebrate with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. If it was a "really" special occasion, we'd add a container of dixie coleslaw.

  3. This recipe was in the recipe book for our harvest gold pressure cooker and I loved the _magic_ of the rice popping out :)

    I'm totally looking forward to reading your new book and checking out more mangiacake recipes (WONDERBREAD GENERATION UNITES!).

  4. I totally wanted porcupine balls after reading about it in your book (excellent, by the way). I always felt left out of good, solid Cake cooking as a kid - growing up as I did in an Italian household.

  5. Thanks, Mauer. Funny, I always felt like I was the one ripped off. Who knew people were pining for potato chip-topped casseroles? I suppose the JELL-O is always greener on the other side.

  6. This is the main course for my caker party tonight! I'm taking heed and ensuring the Febreeze is on hand for the guests to use at will. Sadly, brown jasmine rice will be standing in for Minute Rice. I can't bring myself to buy a whole box of the stuff.

    1. I'm sure they'll be a hit, Jane, regardless of the rice you use. I hope it goes well and let me know how they turn out. Don't forget to open the windows.

  7. They were a big hit! And I was proactive thanks to your warning re: the smell. I did some research and tried out this method: place a small pan with one part vinegar and one part water and some lemon juice to simmer. It was meant to neutralize the air. I'd say that it just made the place smell more like vinegar, but still an improvement over the meatball smell. Smelly balls, indeed.
    Other items on the menu included Five Cup Salad (thanks Nadine - provided some good laughs), Schwartzies Hash Browns, Ant on a log (cheez whiz on celery dotted w/ raisins), and as cakery an Indian dish as my friend could muster; dahl with cinnamon and sugar. He couldn't bring himself to have marshmallows for dinner. Spoil sport.

    1. That sounds like a great party to me! I'd forgotten about Ants on a Log. I'll have to make it and post it some time. Glad to hear things went well. At the very least, a caker party is the cheapest party you'll ever throw.