Do you have a certain food that you love? A comfort food? The kind that's good for the soul? The kind that gives you the warm and fuzzies and takes you back to simpler times? There are several of those foods in my family. Mee-Maw's Peanut Butter Eggs, My mom's baked spaghetti, Mee-Maw's Hamloaf, Mom's Baked Corn, Pop-Pop's steak and homemade french fries...and his homemade fudge (Hey Pop-Pop, can we get some homemade fudge soon?). I promise we ate other things as well, but these were the dishes I looked forward to the most.
I was fortunate enough to grow up with all four of my grandparents. My Pap-Pap passed away when I was 22 (and I wish I loved his fresh veggies he grew back then, but my veggie palate didn't develop until I got married), but my Mee-Maw, Mamie and Pop-Pop are still alive.
The older I get, the more I cherish my time with them (and their cooking!)
The meal I made tonight is from my Mamie.
For as long as I can remember she has made Sloppy Joe's. I know I'm ratting them out, but the Hackenberg side of my family tend to be pretty picky eaters and recipes and dishes were kept simple because of this. (Which is great for duplicating the recipes now...less ingredients to remember!)
Back to Sloppy Joe's. I think Mamie enjoyed this dish because it was easy to make, easy to create for the masses and could simmer in the crockpot all day long if needed.
(As I understand it...)
She would brown the ground beef on the stove, then throw it in the crockpot with ketchup, brown sugar and Worcestershire Sauce (shh...that ingredient is a secret to my Pop-Pop. He may not eat it if he knows there is Worcestershire Sauce in it.) All of those ingredients were added to taste. No measuring requiring. You could turn the crockpot heat up higher or lower depending on your time constraints.
When I got married and started making Sloppy Joe's for Paul and I, I got really lazy.
I would brown the ground beef on the stove, turn it down to a simmer, add my ingredients (to taste), simmer it until the mixture got hot and then serve it. It takes about 15 minutes total. Easy Peasy.
At some point in my teenage years, my mom started making Sloppy Joe Muffins. She used her Sloppy Joe recipe (which includes some Vinegar) and then took Pillsbury refrigerated biscuits, put them in a cupcake (muffin) pan she had sprayed with PAM, smooshed them around the sides of the muffins and scooped the sloppy joe mixture into the middle of them. Then she baked them at 350 for 15 minutes. Towards the end of the baking time, she would take them out and sprinkle shredded cheese on top and throw them back into the oven until the cheese was melted.
It's not a healthy dinner by any means. Although, to attempt to make it slightly healthier, I now use ground turkey. I would say I make this dish about once a year, on a night where an over dose of reminiscing makes me feel nostalgic. These are great for get togethers and parties, too!!
Another special treat for us at Mamie and Pop-Pop's was when she made applesauce and marshmallow fluff. I hesitate to use the word made because there's not much making involved when you throw two items together in a saucepan on the stove. The warm applesauce and melted marshmallow fluff were the perfect sweet combination. She always served this on the same night she made Sloppy Joe's and to this day I cannot make Sloppy Joe's without applesauce and marshmallow fluff.
As I said before, Mamie usually made this on nights she was feeding lots of people. Because of this, actually getting some of the Marshmallow Fluff was next to impossible. You had to be the first one to get your helping or there was no marshmallow left!
Consequently, I now add an abundance of marshmallow fluff on the applesauce. It's funny what sticks with us from our childhood into adulthood.
Dinner tonight was unhealthy, fast and easy, delicious and good for the soul.Add a comment »