My grandmother had a love of cookbooks! She always liked to buy those little ones at the checkout stand. She had a gazillion!

She also had quite a collection of pamphlets from the county extension office. You can still get info from your local agency. However, with computers these days, getting little pamphlets is kinda “old school”.

I don’t know where she got this little cookbook. (As you can see, it is a Riceland Rice cookbook. There is no date or publication information on it. My guess is late 1950s-early 1960s.) Since my grandparents had rice on their farm, maybe they sold to Riceland and they sent her a cookbook. Maybe she got it at the Extension office. Who knows! Stuttgart, AR, the home of Riceland Foods, is not far from here.

One day I was thumbing through it and came across this recipe.

Riceland Rice Porcupines

1 pound ground beef

1/2 cup uncooked Riceland Rice

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Dash of chili powder

1 tablespoon fat

1/2 medium onion, sliced thin

1/2 green pepper, sliced thin

2 1/2 cups tomato juice

Mix ground beef and uncooked Riceland Rice, the salt and pepper together. Add  dash of chili powder and mix well. Form into small balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Place in a covered baking dish

In a skillet, melt the 1 tablespoon of fat (or drippings). Saute in this the onion and green pepper. Pour the onion, green pepper, tomato juice over the porcupines-to-be and place in a 350˚F oven. Cook from 1 to 1 1/4 hours. They’re done when the visible rice is tender. Serve with additional tomato sauce if desired. This recipe makes 8 Riceland Rice porcupines.

I have made these before, but it has been a while.

Mine were a little smaller that 1 1/2 inches. I ended up with 17! They were not too small though.

I don’t put the whole 1/2 of a green pepper in my version. The Critics are not too in to peppers. I did buy some green peppers not too long ago. They were 3/$1, so I thought I’d chopped them up and freeze them for when I needed them. Life got in the way. When I was making my meatballs, I noticed I had some withered RED peppers! I salvaged what I could. Most of it was put in the freezer. I put just a tiny amount in the meatballs.

I sautéed my peppers and onions in bacon fat. Duh!

I was missing a key ingredient…tomato juice. Ugh! There was no time to go to the store. I had to improvise! I had some canned tomatoes in juice. I drained off the juice. It was a little more than 1 cup. I chopped up the tomatoes even finer and added them in there too. I also added a little tomato paste and water.

Since the meatballs weren’t the size called for in the recipe, I cut the cooking time to about an hour, I think.


Critics’ Corner

Chip: Who knew porcupines tasted so good?

Megan: I prefer the other kind, but these are very tasty! (I imagine she is referring to the time I made them with actual tomato juice.)

Katie: Porcupine Meatballs are one of my favorite things to eat, and this  batch was no exception. Delicious! I enjoyed them to the last bite!