Meatballs with Sumac Yogurt Sauce, games & Instagram

Did I tell you about my search for sumac when we were in Morocco?

For some reason (perhaps a cook book?) I was convinced that sumac was a common North African spice.

Well, further research tells me that it’s more Middle Eastern – Turkish – Greek than Moroccan, although Wiki says it’s used in ‘Arabic’ cuisine.

That does explain why the spice vendors in Marrakesh had never heard of it.

It doesn’t explain why it was so easy to find in Spain….. (yes, I know, the Moors….)

It has a lemon / tart flavor that we love.

Meatballs with Sumac Yogurt Sauce

Total time: 40 minutes


  • 12oz (360gr) ground beef
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 4 shallots, quartered lengthwise
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs sumac
  • 2 tsp za’atar
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
  • 2/3 cup (5oz, 150gr) Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs chicken stock

Meatballs with Sumac Yogurt Sauce


  • Meatballs:
  • In medium bowl combine egg, bread crumbs, mustard, parsley, paprika and cumin. 
  • Add beef and mix well. Form into small meatballs, about 1″ (2.5cm) in diameter and set aside.
  • In a large skillet heat 1 tbs oil
  • Add shallots and sauté until tender.
  • Add garlic, sumac, za’atar and sauté briefly.
  • Add chicken stock and heat to a simmer.
  • Add the meatballs, being careful that they don’t touch.  Cover and continue to simmer until done, stirring and turning the meatballs once or twice, about 10 – 12 minutes.
  • To finish:
  • Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tbs chicken stock, add to skillet, stirring until thickened..
  • Remove from heat and stir in yogurt.
  • Serve – with potatoes, rice, couscous…..

Print Recipe

I have two questions…..

First – does anyone play games anymore?

I should qualify that….

Does anyone play games with other people, in person, face-to-face?

When I was a kid, after Christmas was over and life started getting back to normal, we got out the new board games that we hadn’t had time for during the holidays. We played with our friends, our siblings, and even our parents.

When I was in college we played cards. We actually spent far too much time playing cards….

In bars we used to shake dice for beers.

All of those games involved talking, usually laughing, sometimes drinking…. with other people.

Does anyone do that anymore?

Risk, Monopoly, Clue, Cribbage, Trivial Pursuit, Sorry, chess & checkers…..

I know they still exist, but do people / kids play them?

Second question….

Are any of you on Instagram?

I’ve been avoiding it, on the basis that I have enough to do on social media, but the other day I decided it was time.

I signed up.

Then I spent hours trying to figure out how to upload photos from my pc.

I didn’t realize that one of the hard and fast rules of Instagram was that photos could only come from mobiles.

I knew that was how most people did it. I didn’t know that it was how everyone did it.

I take photos with a camera.

I’ve found ‘work arounds’ but none of them actually work very well.

Any ideas?

Actually, there is one idea I need to explore – Instagram story maker. A little help can make all the learning a lot easier!

Maybe the question I should ask is:

Is Instagram worthwhile for food bloggers? Or is it just for fun?

I could have fun…..

Last update on January 10, 2016

4 thoughts on “Meatballs with Sumac Yogurt Sauce, games & Instagram”

  1. I use Instagram but not usually for food photos. I like it for the “lesson” of being able to see many people’s photographic work. Seeing and silently critiquing lots of pictures teaches me a lot about photography. I also use it for just plain fun photos.

    I also play Scrabble, but on line with my Hawaii brother. I like it because I don’t have to wait around for his next move. ?

  2. I have a very basic mobile, not wanting to make myself more of a target than I already am, so the answer is no

    The meat balls will be featuring here as I have sumac to use before we ship our belongings and all groceries have to be handed to friends or ditched.

  3. I play Scrabble, cards (Oh Hell), perquackey, Blockhead and pick-up-sticks with my sister from time to time. (Have you played pick-up-sticks lately? It’s a great game!)

    Our neighbours play boardgames with their boy all the time and I think they might even have boardgame parties.

    And I would play Chess – if I could think ahead more than one turn.

    I LOVE sumac! Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Zoomie, I play Words (other version) with the kids – same reason and a nice way to stay in touch. I’m losing interest in Instagram, lol

    Gill, that’s the other thing – I rarely post anything personal and never about any one else. Are you excited about the big move? Is it in the spring? (our spring)

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