Tale of a Tooth

I was about 7 years old when it happened.

I had a wiggly tooth. Not the kind of wiggly tooth where you totally make your fingers slip around to make it look like it was wiggly, but a really truly wiggly tooth.

This was the kind of wiggly tooth that could spin all the way around in its socket, that proceeded to gross out all my teachers, my parents, and my friends.

It was a weekend day, and I was just sitting in the family room, probably watching Yan Can Cook on PBS when my mom called me into the kitchen to get my lunch (or early dinner perhaps). She handed me a plate of my favorite Asian-style turkey meatballs (yes, I was 7. I've always been this into food) with a small bowl of a soy-vinegar-scallion dipping sauce, and had me sit at the dining room table.

I took a bite. I felt my wiggly tooth. Yup, still there.

Another bite. Still there.

Another. AAAH There was MEATBALL stuck INSIDE my wiggly tooth!

That was it. I ran (more like slid) across the kitchen into the little bathroom to grab toilet paper so I could aptly grab the wiggly tooth and yank it out. A few minutes later, the tooth came out, complete with the meatball bit.

I proceeded to lose the rest of my baby teeth at a regular rate, but after that incident, I always checked the lost teeth for bits of food. I know. Gross.

Since then, these


always remind me of losing a tooth.

My mom was onto something with those meatballs though.

Print this recipe!

Mom's Asian-style Turkey Meatballs



  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 2 small cans water chestnuts, chopped
  • 2-3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 Tb. sesame oil
  • 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce


  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. vinegar
  • 1 scallion, chopped


Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. The mixture will get quite sticky! Using slightly wet hands, roll the mixture into about 2 Tbsp. size balls. Cook on the stovetop until browned and cooked through, or bake in a 350 degree oven, then brown on the stovetop when cooked through.

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, and serve meatballs with a small amount of the sauce.

Attempt to take pretty picture of a decidedly not-so-pretty dish.


I'm grateful that there are no more loose teeth in my future...



This entry was posted in Asian, chicken/turkey, simple recipe and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Tale of a Tooth

  1. Nicole says:

    I remember that feeling of having a tooth that is barely hanging on in your mouth. I used jiggle them with my tongue. It was really attractive, im sure. Anyway, these meatballs look fantastic. I cant wait to try them!

  2. Roz says:

    What a sweet story! And SWEET looking meatballs! Have a great day Mara! May your teeth not wiggle ever again!!!
    Roz´s last blog post ..HUH WHY

  3. Julia says:

    Haha I remember I bit into a pear that was a little harder than usual and was horrified when my tooth came out. I was never brave enough to pull it out on my own.

    And yum I love meatballs! I got a little too excited about ordering them at a restaurant one time, so now it’s a joke among my friends 🙂
    Julia´s last blog post ..Fire trails and the lack of Green Goo

  4. Biz says:

    Great story Mara! Love your balls – I’ll have to put those on my list of things to make.

    Happy Friday! Hope the tail end of your school year is going well! Are you doing summer camp again this year?

  5. I was OB-sessed with Yan Can Cook as a kid! 🙂
    Christin@purplebirdblog´s last blog post ..WIAW- Busy Bird

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