Porcupine Meatballs by Meg Montford

A longtime friend and former colleague Meg Montford stepped forward to share her recipe this week as my next guest and fabulous cook (just ask her hubby, Robert Martin)!

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Meg’s story:

Growing up the oldest of five on a Midwestern farm I was tapped as the housecleaner and “cook” of the family. You see, we each had chores, whether indoors or out. That’s how a farm family operates.

I basically taught myself to cook, and loved doing it – a lot more than the housework! In fact, at the age of 10, I started a cookbook of handwritten recipes, which I still have and use. Most of the recipes were handed down from my mother, grandmother, or neighbor women.

When I grew up and married at 20 my cooking and related skills came in handy. My first husband and I moved from the Midwest to Southern California where he was serving in the Marine Corps. On an enlisted serviceman’s salary, we barely had enough to live after paying rent. As far as food was concerned, I quickly figured out how to make a dollar squeal. I’d buy a whole chicken at the base commissary and cut it up myself for three or four different meals. At.25 per pound, it was a huge way to save. I’d make my chocolate “Crazy Cake” using no eggs or milk, a cake some call “Depression Cake.” A simple vanilla buttercream frosting completed the dessert. I made my own spaghetti sauce, sometimes with meat, other times not. One recipe that I got from my mother, “Porcupine Meatballs,” I made frequently and that is what I’m sharing here today.

While always loving to cook, I moved through life with only sharing my love as a hobby, not a career. Along the way, I’ve experienced major career changes – from college financial aid officer to jobs recruiter to a career coach. For over 20 years I’ve been self-employed as an Executive Career Coach, a role I truly love, helping people evaluate and change their careers in radical ways.

As a career coach is how I got to know Christina, first professionally and then as a good friend. We share the same passion for helping others to make their lives better. In 2005 I traveled from my Missouri home (where I’ve now lived for almost 30 years) back to Southern California to spend an extended weekend with Christina when we attended a special coach training workshop. Christina graciously opened her home to me during this time. I met her husband (a real treasure!) and tasted artichokes for the first time. I had managed to live 50 some years and had never eaten artichokes in any way, shape, or form! What a treat!

Today I admire Christina for her own career change following her retirement from career coaching. I am proud to say that I own her first book, From Vine to Table: The Unexpected Joy of Zucchini’s Magic. I can hardly wait to get her next book focused on cooking with tomatoes. My husband and I have a good-sized garden every year with a lot of tomatoes that I try to preserve in various ways. This year we’re growing zucchinis so I’m looking forward to my adventure in using and preserving them later in the summer.

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There’s nothing better than a comfort food from the past that easily migrates onto today’s dinner table. Meg mentioned this recipe is handed down from her mother. What a great way to remember her! 

This recipe uses common pantry staples. 

The finished dish looks amazing! Can’t wait to make these!

Love handwritten recipe cards – The only way to go before computers and the internet. 🙂

Porcupine Meatballs by Meg Montford

Yields 4-6 (18 meatballs)

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  • 1 lb of ground chuck
  • 1/4 cup minute rice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • Catsup to bind
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix beef, rice, onion, salt & pepper. Add just enough catsup to bind together.
  2. Make walnut size balls. Place in 8 X 11" glass baking dish. Pour soup over meatballs and cover with foil.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
  4. Option: Sprinkle with cheese

You can find Meg’s website at Abilities Enhanced to check out her career coaching services. Follow her on Pinterest and you can find out more about Meg’s coaching and professional background at LinkedIn.

Thank you Meg! 

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