My grandma and her sister (my great aunt) lived on opposite sides of a duplex house, so when we were kids and would spend time at my grandma’s, we also would spend a good bit of it over on my aunt’s side of the house as well. My great aunt was famous for a few of her specialty items – poor man’s cookies, broccoli casserole, and, my favorite, sloppy joes. There was nothing terribly fancy about it – a can of Manwich and some ground meat, but there was something about eating such a messy sandwich I just loved. It must be a kid thing
A while ago, sloppy joes popped into my head out of nowhere; I hadn’t had them in at least 10 years, but I suddenly was on a quest to make a version from scratch. I remembered there sometimes being onion and green pepper in my aunt’s recipe, and then went from there. This is a simple tomato sauce made with a combination of ketchup, tomato puree and some simple seasonings. My original intention was to use tomato sauce and tomato paste as a thickener, but when I got into my pantry I realized I was out of tomato sauce, but had puree, and it worked great. I love a thicker sauce, and the tomato puree was perfect.
I ate this everyday for lunch for four days straight, and I loved every single bite of it. I’m always totally enamored with a nostalgic taste that can be replicated from scratch. Sloppy joes will always remind me of hanging out at my grandma’s with my cousins and crowding around my aunt’s dining room table for more servings.
Here’s to favorite kid flavors and homemade replications!
One year ago: Coconut Shrimp with Mango Dipping Sauce
Two years ago: Sticky Buns
Three years ago: Roasted Banana Ice Cream
Four years ago: Buttermilk Biscuits
Five years ago: Cobb Salad
Six years ago: Homemade Pancake Mix