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We seemed to have misplaced our meatballs

“Do you have the crockpot full of meatballs?” my mother asked me after I got out of my car. We’d just driven two vehicles to my uncle’s house for a holiday gathering. However, all the food was in my mother’s car, not mine.

“Uh, no,” I told her after a short pause. I couldn’t believe my mother was asking me this question. My mother, who compulsively checked the stove before leaving the house. My mother, who carefully staged all the food on the dining room table the night before departure so she wouldn’t forget anything. My mother, who made me top off my car’s coolant in the dark and cold on Christmas Eve so she wouldn’t worry about my car overheating on the drive down. How could my mother ever possibly misplace a crockpot full of meatballs?

“I carried them out and put them on the sidewalk by your trunk,” Sister-in-law chimed in. Two seconds later we all simultaneously made the same realization: We had left a crockpot full of meatballs on the sidewalk in front of my mother’s apartment.

“Do you think they’ll still be there when we get back?” I asked Brother and Sister-in-law on the drive back home four hours later. Sister-in-law was confidant that yes, the crockpot of meatballs would still be there, because neighbors wouldn’t steal other neighbors’ meatballs. She said that if she saw a crockpot full of meatballs on the sidewalk of her neighborhood, she would assume someone had left them there and would be back for them eventually.

I was uncertain whether the crockpot or the meatballs would still be there. I had seen many dog walkers in my mother’s apartment complex and was concerned that some of the mutts may have smelled the meatballs and knocked the glass lid off the slow cooker to have a holiday snack. I also knew that whenever someone left a couch or dresser and bookshelf near the dumpster in my own apartment complex, it was quickly scavenged by someone else. The crockpot was at least 30 years old, and definitely looked like something someone might throw away. We hadn’t left it by the dumpster though, which meant context was going in its favor.

Brother sided with Sister-in-Law, claiming that an empty crockpot might be scavenged quickly, but the presence of meatballs inside the crockpot would lead any snatch-and-grabbers to conclude that this crockpot had not been discarded on purpose.

As we turned the corner onto my mother’s street, there was great anticipation. Would the meatballs still be there? Would the crockpot?

Yes! The crockpot and the meatballs were both still there, just as we’d left them, four and a half hours later. The meatballs were still fairly warm too, even though they’d spent hours in the cold. We quickly recovered our crockpot and meatballs and returned them to the safety of my mother’s apartment. Later that night as we laughed about the situation, we also wondered if somewhere in the apartment complex a family was having a similar discussion about the mysterious crockpot full of meatballs they’d seen on the sidewalk and how it had disappeared just as mysteriously as it had appeared.

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Melzie • January 1, 2010 at 11:29 am

Perhaps it was just a different thing to feed Santa. My mom always told me that Santa got too much sweets, so we always left him veggies or cheese & crackers- anything but cookies. Perhaps he needed protein?! :)


Lyn • January 1, 2010 at 11:38 am

Well, at least you have dinner ready for tonight :)


Tiffany S. • January 1, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Best. Holiday. Story. Ever!


Anonymous Fat Girl • January 1, 2010 at 12:25 pm

ha ha! I love me some meatballs, so if I were one of your neighbors and came upon them I’m sure I would have ate them – then left the old narly crockpot. Empty. LOL


PastaQueen • January 1, 2010 at 12:41 pm

@Anonymous Fat Girl – Be careful. People around here don’t take kindly to food scavenging.


Kyle • January 1, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I feel like if I saw a crockpot full of meatballs on the sidewalk, I would definitely blog about it. you should do a google search and find the person’s reaction.

Oh wait, not everybody blogs. That’s silly.


Jess (What's Normal, Anyways?) • January 1, 2010 at 1:47 pm

How funny. We took meatballs to a NYE party last night and as I was sitting here nooshing on some left over balls, I stumbled on your post. Funny, funny.

Happy New Year!


Jen, a priorfatgirl • January 1, 2010 at 1:56 pm

hahahaha!!! Every holiday season needs a meatball story – your takes the…er, well, cake! Love it!


ChrissyS • January 1, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Oh, that was funny, Jennette! Thanks for sharing. Sounds like the story will become a Fulda Family Favorite for years to come.

I’m glad SIL didn’t put it on the roof…

I can just imagine you all on the edges of your seats as you rounded the corner..haha

Happy 2010, friend.


Mymsie • January 1, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I’m impressed that the meatballs were still warm. They don’t make crockpots like that anymore! ;)


Hyla • January 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm

HAHAHAHAHA! That is great!


Shaunta • January 1, 2010 at 6:40 pm

OMG that’s hilarious! I love stories that show the non-meatball-stealingness of people.


Rahim • January 1, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Now that’s definitely one for the books. If I saw a crockpot full of meatballs on the sidewalk, I would’ve left them alone myself.


Karen • January 1, 2010 at 8:42 pm

It sounds exactly like something my family would do…only my mother would make us go back immediately and get them. Too funny! Great story!


Amy • January 1, 2010 at 10:14 pm

LOL! That story will be legendary in your family for years to come, I’m sure. Thanks for a great grin on the first day of the New Year.


MB • January 1, 2010 at 11:48 pm

HAHAHAHA…that’s great. Good thing nobody sneezed. ;)

On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese.

I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed.

It rolled off the table, it rolled on the floor,

And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door.

It rolled in the garden and under a bush,

And then my poor meatball was nothing but mush.

The mush was as tasty as tasty could be,

And early next summer it grew to a tree.

The tree was all covered with beautiful moss.

It grew great big meatballs and tomato sauce.

So if you eat spaghetti all covered with cheese,

Hold on to your meatball and don’t ever sneeze.


PurpleGirl • January 2, 2010 at 6:10 am



same slim down • January 2, 2010 at 10:55 am

Hello Pasta Queen

Heard your interview on CBC radio. I am 350 pounds and you have motivated me to try the same thing – start a blog about weight loss. I don’t have the ambition nor the desire to write a book about it but I thank you for a way I can at least keep a log about my progress and keep on the mark. I am interested in people’s input on how they shed the pounds. It is totally self serving.

Just started. Thank you for this holiday gift.

Meatball story was great. I look forward to more.



Kim • January 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm

What a great story! Being that the meatballs were in the cold all day they were probably good to go for supper the next day! I am surprised no one took in the crockpot to keep it safe for you – and equally surprised no dogs got into them. Guess they were being watched over by a Higher Power! Thanks for the smile – I enjoyed this story so much!


gknee • January 2, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Ok- as the compulsive eater- I am wondering if you then ATE said meatballs. Like luggage left unattended at the terminal, were they tainted while out of your sight? On the other hand it seems such a shame to let perfectly fine food go to waste…..

I think it would make an interesting poll for your readers?


Donna • January 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Wonderful story for your family to remember and retell forever. Thanks for the smiles!


Mom taxi Julie • January 3, 2010 at 2:32 am

Oh too funny!! I was on the edge of my seat to see if they were still there!


Anonymous Fat Girl • January 3, 2010 at 10:57 am

@PastaQueen – I’ll definitely keep that in mind. :)

BTW loved your book. Passed it on to mom and she liked it too. She’s very hard to please, so it’s a real winner. Thanks for writing it.


MizFit • January 4, 2010 at 6:30 am

SO FUNNY and made all the better by what a fantastic writer you are, PQ


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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