I love going home to visit my mother. Although I do feel like I gain 5 pounds every time I visit, especially when eating her sloppy joes. I’m consistently being feed and asked, “Are you hungry?” even after I just ate. I never met someone who loved feeding people more than my mother, and that’s where I get my love of hosting and feeding people. I learned how to cook mostly by watching her when I was younger. I remember this toy kitchen set I would put right next to counter while she cooked. I would copy her moves and pretend I was making something for the family.
But there’s one difference between my mom’s cooking style and mine: she doesn’t measure anything and I measure everything. Being an analytical, type A person I love to know how much of each ingredient I need. But after going home and paying attention to how my mom’s food tastes, I’m starting to think she is onto something. See my mom doesn’t cook with a cookbook or recipes; she cooks with her heart. Each dish she makes is amazing, full of flavor and it tastes different every time she makes it. My mother is also one of the most resourceful people I know. If she missing an ingredient, she is sure to find something in the kitchen to replace it.
When I was home a few weeks ago, my mother took us way back, back to my childhood and made her amazing sloppy joes recipe. I really forgot just how much I love sloppy joes and it made me sad I missed out on all those years being away at school and missing out on these sloppy joes. I made it my mission to recreate this recipe to the best I could. So the very next weekend I took a trip up to my mom’s when she asked if I was hungry, I nicely replied yes, and requested sloppy joes. I knew I would have to watch her in order to teach myself how to make it because like I said before she doesn’t measure a thing.
Just like the old days, I stood next to my mom near the stove as she cooked. I watched as she combined her ingredients for the sloppy joes. But this time instead of pretending in my toy kitchen, I went home and made it for Brian and me. Each day, I’m learning more and more to cook with my heart because when you cook from the heart, it always comes out just right. Thanks ma for teaching me everything I know.
Ms. Jackson's Sloppy Joes
Credit: Ms. Jackson
- 8oz Can of Tomato Paste (Italian or Basil & Garlic flavored)
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 small/medium green pepper
- 4 oz. of Hunts Manwich Sloppy Joes Sauce
- 1 tbsp. of McCormick Mild Chili Seasoning
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil
- In a medium/large sauce pan heat1 tbsp. of olive oil and place on medium high heat.
- Once warmed, add the beef and cook until browned, stirring occasionally.
- While the meat is cooking, chop up the green peeper into small pieces.
- After the meat has cooked through (no more pink), add in the green pepper. Cook for a few minutes until the pepper starts to soften, about 1-2 minutes.
- Next, add the tomato paste and combined evenly.
- Lastly, stir in the Hunts Manwich sauce and chili seasoning.
- Lower the heat to low heat and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Scoop onto prepared rolls and enjoy!