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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sloppy Joes

Mom made the BEST sloppy joes when we were growing up.  They weren't kind of sweet like others.  They had a little bit of bite.  Once I started cooking, I learned the secret - dry mustard instead of yellow mustard.  Now, the interesting thing about dry mustard is that it kind of makes a dish taste like you've added mustard-flavored sawdust initially.  Then, once it's cooked for about 10 minutes, the flavor blooms and it's a great addition.  That's why it's really important to just walk away and let these guys simmer for at least 10 minutes after you've added all the ingredients.  I've been making these for so long that until tonight I've not measured for probably 30 years.  Since I'm making freezer food for David and Kara, I made a huge batch.  As I added, I measured.  All I can say is no wonder it's so tough to get some of those old recipes - when you're used to how much to put in based on the feel of the pour or the amount in your hand, measuring is very difficult. 

While we're talking about family here, I have to tell you about the newest member of our family - Winston.  A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday, some ladies stopped to help a stray outside our home.  Connie was outside deadheading roses while I finished up some things in the kitchen.  Pretty soon, he heard the ladies hollering for help.  Turns out the stray had jumped into the passenger seat and was NOT leaving the car.  Connie had to take Annie's leash (Annie is our lab/border collie mix) and lasso the little fellow.  He marched very nicely to the screened porch.  There, he turned out to be a really sweet little fellow.  We took him to the vet expecting a chip.  Nothing.  No tags, no chip, no listing on any of the lost pet services, nothing at Animal Care and Control or the Humane Society, no signs on posts.  Nothing.  The vet said he's about seven and going blind so we knew he'd not have much of a chance if we didn't keep him.  So, we took him back and took care of shots then took him to the groomer.  Poor little guy was so matted he could barely walk.  Annie was NOT pleased about the interloper.  But, we carefully introduced them.  Now, Winston goes to the office along with Connie and Annie and me.  The cats tolerate him.  And, his tail rarely quits wagging. 

Mom's Sloppy Joes

3 lbs 90% lean ground beef
2 large onions, diced
2 large green peppers, diced
2 c ketchup
2 T dry mustard
1/4 c dark brown sugar
3 T cider vinegar
1 T Worcestershire sauce

Brown the ground beef, onions and peppers. 

Drain them well.  Mix in the other ingredients and let the sloppy joes cook for at least 10 minutes on medium heat.

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