Sloppy Joe’s (Original Recipe)

I have a neighbor who is on disability, actually I have lots of neighbors on assistance, came dragging a large box of bread and sandwich rolls over to my trailer. I am in the habit of taking leftovers to neighbors that I think will eat them instead of seeing the leftovers languish in my refrigerator to be tossed out. This neighbor is on a gluten free diet and last month our local grocery decided to get rid of gluten free baking mixes. The markdown was extremely low. Baking mixes for gluten free breads and cakes are very expensive. I did a quick inventory in my mind as to what I had at home in the freezer so I could figure out how much of the bargains I could get for her. I had the bargains rung up separate from my groceries. That way I could show her how little I paid for them. She was delighted and we figured out I saved about $100 dollars for her. You see I filled my cart with 20 boxes of various mixes at $.50 a box. I just told her it was a gift (an early Christmas present) and don’t worry about the few dollars I spent. I actually think this was more of a treat for her then a savings because gluten free mixes run between $5 and $6 a mix. Food stamps for a single person don’t cover what is needed to eat on, let alone a special diet. The next day I went back and they had added rice flour and bulgur wheat to the close outs. They were $.25 a bag. I shared the rice flour with her because I only wanted a few bags. The bulgur wheat I keep for myself to use in bread baking.

This month when she was at the food bank she must of excepted the bread to pay me back. She also gave me boxes of spaghetti and macaroni and cheese. So now I have lots of bread and my freezer only has enough room for half of it. As my friend Mr. Day always says to me “what is a mother to do,” I made Sloppy Joe’s.

This recipe for Sloppy Joe’s is inexpensive to make compared to a can of Manwich Sandwich. The recipe came from my mom, who got it at a house wares party when I was about 8 or 9 years old., long before there was a canned sauce for this sandwich. Once you make this you will not go back to canned sauce because it is so easy and tastes better. It is made from ingredients that you normally have on hand even when you are broke. If you don’t have the molasses or brown sugar you can substitute the brown sugar with regular sugar or leave out the molasses. You can also just leave out sugar in general because the ketchup is sweet anyways. You can use either prepared mustard or ground mustard. I try to stick to the recipe as close to it as my pantry will let me because it really is good. One extra thing I do add to it is chopped green peppers and celery. I am in the habit of keeping celery on hand and freezing chopped green and red sweet peppers when I find them on sale to cook with. The only difference between the canned sauce and ketchup is that it has onion, celery and green pepper in it. When I only have a pound of ground meat, the recipe is halved and I add 3 or four cubed slices of bread that is going stale to absorb the sauce and stretch the meat. So when you are out of ideas and low on money add this to your menu.

Sloppy Joe’s (Original Recipe)

  • 2 ½ pounds of ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons mustard
  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 7 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses

Optional ingredients, chopped celery 1 or 2 stalks and ½ cup chopped sweet green pepper. Bread cubes enough to sop up extra sauce.

Brown meat with onion and extra vegetables. Drain grease. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 10 minutes. If too saucy add bread cubes to thicken it. Serve on sandwich buns.

There is a lot of sharing and bartering that goes on where I live. It is part of the new normal as it has been named instead of a depression. The lady in the trailer next to me has internet service. She gave me the key to her wifi so I would have access. I used to sit in the parking lot at the library with my lap top when I needed to get on line. My internet service went off to college with my grandson last year. He shares an off campus apartment with a friend. I watch her dog sometimes and bake for her every week. She works at Wal-Mart and takes care of her elderly father. I make sure his 85 year old sweet tooth is satisfied. He gets to sample everything I bake. Sunday I asked my son what was he washing. I found out another neighbor had brought over a comforter to be washed that she uses to hang up over her hallway because she only air conditions half her trailer at a time. I have front loader washer and dryer that can handle that and hers is too small. The man across from me likes my home made soup. He tells me that it reminds him of his mother. I make soup every week and save glass jars so I can fill with hot soup to take over to him. I usually end up making more then my family is willing to eat. This is nicer then throwing it out several days later when I have no room in my freezer. It is nice to hear his complements when the kids complain about soup. A few door down across the street, an Mexican couple lives. Now that the weather is starting to cool off he will be out on his lanai with his guitar singing every Saturday evening. I enjoy this and go outside to my lanai to listen. I have no clue what he is singing about but it is lovely to listen too. So this is what the new normal is all about. People making due and making the best of it.

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45 Comments Add yours

  1. changeforbetterme says:

    That is one thing about the human nature I love, their ability to adapt. I like sloppy joe’s but hate the can stuff. I will have to try this recipe.. thanks

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting. It really is good and you can tweak it to fit you.

      Like

  2. You are such a good person and I am MORE than proud to call you my blogger friend! As someone who has worked in social services for 18 years (on Dec. 5) your little neighborhood is nearly extinct! When my husband and I were going through some stuff at his office one day we found a cookbook put out by the USDA in 1970 for FS/SNAP clients. I love those recipes! Use them all the time – Maybe I’ll start incorporating those into the blog. P.S. – my husband – you know, Mr. Picky-eater, has been complaining about the canned sloppy joe stuff lately. I believe I will surprise him tomorrow night with this!! Thank you so much!!!

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      You will like it. I didn’t think my neighborhood was that extinct. It has gotten that way because of the economy. We all hit bottom together. Any ways thank you.

      Like

  3. this recipe looks fantastic, and I love the story that came along with it! I’ve always been a fan of sloppy joes, so will have to try this one out!

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      It is really easy to make and it is a great party food too. Thank you for your kind comment

      Like

  4. petit4chocolatier says:

    You are a beautiful person!

    The Sloppy Joe sandwich looks so delicious. It has been awhile since I have eaten one.

    Thank you for the wonderful post!

    Like

  5. flyfishbrat says:

    I have to try your recipe. Mark loves Sloppy Joes. He would eat them everyday if I would let him. Can’t wait to surprise him with your recipe.

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      He will like it. It is a richer deeper flavor then the canned sauce. Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  6. My boyfriend loves sloppy joes. I will have to save this to make him this fall!

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      It makes a lot so you can freeze some for later. Thanks for stopping in,

      Like

  7. Sophie33 says:

    I never tasted sloppy Joe’s before but that is normal because I am a true Belgian!

    I must make this tasty looking recipe! It looks very appetizing too! MMMM!

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      You might find it fun to make and try. Thank you for stopping by from all the way from Belgian.

      Like

  8. ChgoJohn says:

    Your photo has the neatest Sloppy Joe ever photographed. Mom made these for us but that recipe was lost. Yours certainly sounds like hers, though, and it will be a great dinner finding out. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thank you. I am glad you want the recipe. I am going to use your ravioli recipe. Grand kids are sick with the flue so we have put off for another week. 2 of my grand kids are “Siano family” grand childern who most of the family still lives in little Italy Chicago. So it is important that my daughter does this right. She wants a real recipe she told me, so thank you and thank you.

      Like

  9. pattyabr says:

    you have a lot of great ingredients in your sloppy joe recipe that look great. the sloppy joe buns look homemade. i have never seen the gluten free mixes on clearance before. you are a kind person to watch out for your neighbors 🙂

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      They do look home made. They look like they came from Fresh market as a donation. We sure have enjoyed them. Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  10. Jessi says:

    What an amazing neighbourhood! It’s awesome that people are sticking together in this new normal.

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      We all have been here for a while. Thanks for reading my post.

      Like

  11. You are all such a wonderfully tight knit group of people – beautiful 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thank You. Yes they are nice people. Please stop in again.

      Like

  12. I love this post and it reminded me of my neighorhood of sharing, caring people. All we have in this world is each other.

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      I think there is many neighborhoods like this. Mine is just a little harder hit from the economy. Thanks for taking the time to read the post.

      Like

  13. shadeydaze says:

    I’ve never had a Sloppy Joe but I think that’s going to have to change soon!!
    I love reading about the story that goes with your food Momoe…sounds like a lovely place to live – everyone has something to offer and rather than holding on to it they share….how life should be.
    I love the bartering system…we are lucky that we have a network of friends who are into this too. Seems to be coming back as being the way of life…I wouldn’t wish hardship on anyone but if something positive has to come out of it then perhaps this would be it….makes the hard times a little easier if everyone gets that sharing resources means you gain not lose.
    Thanks for another lovely post 🙂

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thank you. You will like sloppy joes.

      Like

  14. My husband makes something almost identical to this. I love it. I never buy Manwich as it is nowhere as good as this.
    I love your normal. I love that you spread so much goodness to so many people. Your post just made my so much happier about the world. Thank you.

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thank you. We are all in this world together. it sometimes takes a village.

      Like

  15. The way you describe the “new” normal is the way I think things should be. A sense of community, a sense of duty to help others– you don’t have to go to church or go to a shelter or donate dollars to volunteer or participate. Look around you– you and your neighbors are an example for all of us.
    I write another blog called Trailer Trashtastic… http://trailertrashtastic.wordpress.com/ It’s nice to meet a fellow mobile home mate 🙂

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      You are welcome. Yes I am trailer trash. I am on my way now to check out your blog. Please stop in again.

      Like

      1. Heather @ SugarDish(Me) says:

        haha thanks!

        Like

  16. Dorena says:

    Like the other posters, you do have fantastic neighbors. I love that y’all all look out for each other! Makes me smile to know that still happens. 🙂

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thank you for your comment and please come back.

      Like

  17. I love your blog. Can you add a “Subscribe by Email” button so that I can get it in my email whenever you post a new blog? I think there’s an option in WordPress Plug-Ins that does it automatically.

    Anyway, thanks for writing your blog. You have a big heart.

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      If you click on my main blog title on the top of the page that will put you on the home page and you will find it on the right hand column.

      Thanks for stopping in. I would have gotten to you sooner but I have had computer trouble.

      Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Yup ate lots of them too. Thanks for stopping in. I enjoy your writing and pictures. I always give a like so you know I have stopped in and read.

      Like

  18. thesnowwoman says:

    I am definitely going to make this. I saw in the comments that you can freeze it, which will be perfect to have in freezer for weeknight meal.

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thanks for stopping in and making a comment. Yes they do freeze well.

      Like

  19. litadoolan says:

    I know I am late to comment on this.. but quite sad to hear food stamps don’t cover basic food rations for a single person. Bravo for your good heart.

    Like

    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thank you for reading it. I often mention poverty and food charity in my posts. One of the hardest things is trying to come up with good meals on a limited budget. I keep my recipes simple and suggestions geared to the lower budget kitchens.

      Like

  20. I always wondered what a sloppy joe was! In Scotland we would say, a piece in mince.

    Liked by 1 person

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