The Best Sloppy Joes

One of the best things about having relatives come for a visit is being able to cook for them. This past week, our granddaughter, Naomi, has been visiting from Cincinnati. She’s considering a move here to attend college. Naomi has had a few request to meals, and the latest is for homemade barbecues and potato salad.

When she graduated from high school this past spring, Naomi’s mom asked me for my Auntie Helen’s barbecue recipe so they could have it for Naomi’s reception. On one of their visits back home, I had fixed the barbecues for them, and they thoroughly enjoyed them.

And they’re certainly not the only ones who’ve fallen for the barbecues I’ve been eating since grade school. That’s because they’re the ones that were served at our school hot lunch. My aunt, Helen Tiedeman, was head cook at the Cathedral School in Crookston.

Years after the school closed and Auntie Helen retired, she shared the recipe with me. And since then, I’ve passed it on to numerous old school mates and friends. And none of them have been disappointed.

It’s a simple recipe to make, and I’d like to share one more time with you. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed, either.

Auntie Helen’s Barbecues
6 pounds of ground beef
1 package flaked onions
1 25 ounce-can cream of mushroom soup
½ gallon of ketchup
½ stalk of celery, diced, precooked
2 tablespoons mustard
¼ cup of vinegar
Barbecue spice, to taste
½ cup of brown sugar
Mix all of ingredients and cook for about 2 hours
Yield: Serves 50.

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