It's good to have goals. And for Gerald Barkley, a math and science teacher at a community college in Michigan, last weekend it was to make the world's first 350-pound meatball. "It started as a joke," his colleague told the South Bend Tribune (you know, just one of those, ha, what if we made a 350-pound ball of meat? jokes) inspired by a couple of major meatball records set last year.
This latest attempt is about 327 pounds of ground chuck (plus the seasonings add some weight), with a diameter of 30 inches. Barkley is still awaiting approval from the Guinness Book of World Records officials. After the meat boulder was forklifted into a huge oven and cooked, the center of the ball's temperature was taken and, tragically, hadn't reached 160°F. Oops.
Barkley (and his very emotionally invested supporters) are hoping they can still claim the record with that 30 pounds of cooler meat removed.