That's what my dad always says when he serves anything pre-made. Like he'll bring a big pumpkin pie from Costco to Thanksgiving dinner and tell everyone it's, "an old family recipe." It's one of his bits, kind of like how he answers the phone when I call and asks, "Are you in Casa Grande yet?"
Anyway, this really is an old family recipe that has been handed down from my grandmother and I'm sure precedes her by a generation or two. My mom doesn't cook, so my dad has used this recipe a few times and has made it his own. I, however, followed my grandmother's recipe pretty closely. So if you like homemade meatballs, here's An Old Family Recipe:
1 lb. hamburger
Combine milk & water to make 3/4 cup
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese
1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoo sweet basil
salt & pepper*
add dried onion & garlic powder*
*This is one of those recipes where my grandma just knew how much to put in so she didn't give a specific measurment. I shake the salt & pepper a few times and add a few shakes of dried onion & garlic powder.
1. Prepare a medium pot with two containers of pasta sauce (my grandma has a recipe for this, too, but I start with any plain sauce & season to my liking). Bring to mild simmer.
2. In a large bowl combine hamburger, bread crumbs, cheese, salt & pepper, dried onion, and garlic powder. Mix it all together (I use my hands. Don't forget to take your rings off)
3. Add egg, parsley, sweet basil and mix with milk/water mixture until well combined.
4. Roll meatballs with hands and add to sauce. Do not stir sauce for at least 15 minutes as to not squish the meatballs. Yes, "squish" is the technical terminology.
5. Simmer in the sauce for at least an hour.
Serve with your favorite pasta, salad & garlic bread. And don't forget the chianti.