With Monday being Memorial Day, they had thought they would likely stay for supper on Sunday night instead of leaving in the afternoon, as they often do. But with the time schedule a bit uncertain — they planned to stay for supper on Sunday, all going well, but it wasn’t writ in stone — I needed to plan something that would be easy enough whether they ended up staying for supper or no. Additional, hubby has been dealing with a painful tooth issue, which resulted in his having a tooth pulled on Thursday, so soft food is the order of the day, as well.
Meandering the store on Friday, casting about for inspiration, I decided upon Sloppy Joes, and happily stuck a package of (WhiteWheat) hamburger buns in my shopping basket.
Sloppy Joes are a sentimental favorite for our family: On a May Sunday sixteen years ago, hubby brought me from Oklahoma to my new home here in East Texas. We’d had a long, hot, dusty, sweaty drive, and he had thought it would be a good idea for us to just go and pick up a pizza for supper that night.
However, we’d not thought about the U-Haul trailer we were hauling, and so it really wasn’t practical for us to go and pick-up a pizza (and no, there’s no delivery out here).
Tired and frustrated, poor hubby said, “There’s NOTHING for us to fix for supper.”
I poked around in the pantry, freezer, and fridge. While they were pretty bare, I found onion, some sliced sandwich bread, a large can of tomato paste, a pound of frozen ground beef, some basic spices, and a can of corn.
“Well,” I said, “I could make some Sloppy Joes.”
Hubby, surprised, but hopeful: “You can?”
Me: “Yes, we could have Sloppy Joes and this corn.”
So, I set to work, and that night, we ate Sloppy Joes for supper. Hubby and dear son made me feel like a miracle worker 🙂
And it was yummy, because we had NO leftovers. 🙂
Ever since then, Sloppy Joes have been a sentimental meal for us, and I take a sentimental journey every time I make them. 😉 (Go on, take 112 seconds out of your day and give it a listen — you know you want to!)
When we got ready to eat on Sunday, I realized, to my horror, that I hadn’t made it home with the hamburger buns, nor did we have any bread! *sigh* Hubby gallantly dashed to the store to get us the hamburger buns. And little Miss Ava LOVED it — with every bite, she said, “MMMM…YUM!”
She was also covered with tomato sauce and meat from head to toe — she had her bath immediately after. 🙂
Sloppy Joes (Serves 4 to 6)
- 1 pound lean (93/7) ground beef or ground turkey
- 1/2 to 1 onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery (optional), sliced
- 1/2 to 1 bell pepper (optional), seeded and chopped (I used green; you could use red, yellow, or orange, or substitute some mushrooms instead)
- 2 (8 ounces EACH) cans tomato sauce (NOTE: You could also use a 6 or 12 ounce can of tomato paste to which you add wine or water, or a can of tomato puree to which you add a bit more wine or water)
- Splash of vinegar
- Healthy squirt of ketchup
- Healthy splash of barbecue sauce
- Splash of Worcestershire sauce
- Seasonings to taste: chili powder, minced garlic or garlic powder, paprika
- Bread, toasted if you like (whatever you like — hamburger buns, sliced sandwich bread
- Splash of olive or canola oil (for cooking)
- In a medium to large skillet (add in a bit of oil as needed), brown ground meat. Drain if necessary (there likely won’t be anything to drain away). Add in a splash of vinegar and then onion, celery (if using), and bell pepper (if using).
- Stir in tomato sauce or tomato paste and water, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and seasonings to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered or uncovered, stirring occasionally, until onion and bell pepper are tender and the mixture has thickened to desired consistency (anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, depending upon your preferences).
- Spoon onto bread (toast bread if desired). Top with some cheese, if desired.
- Refrigerate leftovers.