I was a strange little kid.
Some of the foods/meals that top the favorite’s list of many small children topped my “I hate” list, among them mac and cheese (also known as Kraft dinner), bologna sandwiches, pb&j, and Sloppy Joes. I didn’t even really like potato chips, and told my mom they sucked. And proceeded to get into a bit of trouble for my language, though at that age, I had no idea what the problem with that word was.
Anyway, I refused to eat Sloppy Joes, mostly because they just seemed kind of gross to me. Then in fourth grade, I went to a friend’s birthday party, a slumber party, no less. What was on the menu? Sloppy Joe’s and Dorito nachos. I’m sure there was more, like cake, but those were the two items I remembered, mostly because yikes! Sloppy Joe’s were the only main dish, and face it, nachos made with Doritos sounded both delicious and intriguing to a fourth grader.
I was hungry, so I had no choice but to try a Sloppy Joe. It wasn’t bad, and of course I came home the following day, announcing that I liked Julie’s mom’s Sloppy Joes. (Only little kids can word things like that, right?)
Over time, I started to eat the occasional Sloppy Joe, mostly when I had a craving, which I admit, doesn’t happen all that often. But recently, they just sounded GOOD. So I called up my mom and asked for her recipe, which as is the case with most home recipes, isn’t an exact recipe, it’s more of a list of ingredients with suggested amounts. But who am I kidding? That’s fun for me, because then I get to play.
Mom’s Sloppy Joes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 ½ pounds ground round
1 ½ cups tomato soup or sauce
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add meat and brown, breaking up the meat into smaller chunks. Add remaining ingredients and cook until sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste, adjusting vinegar and brown sugar if necessary.