Memorial Day and a 1940’s recipe

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Memorial Day is sacred in our country, as it should be.  I wanted to honor my Dad today, who was a World War II veteran.  This is a photo of the ship on which he served during the war, The USS Porter.  I would also like to honor my friend Lisa’s son, Will, bravely serving in Afghanistan at this time.

Dad was on this ship when my oldest brother, Paul was born, and he didn’t see his first child for months.  When my mom was a young war bride, she used to make the following recipe for “Barbecue Sandwiches,” although they were what we think of now as sloppy joes.  In war days, many things were rationed and housewives were encouraged to “stretch” recipes and use little of the rationed items.  My family has always loved this sandwich.  I have made it so many times, I don’t even need to refer to the written recipe.

1940’s Barbecue Sandwiches (sloppy joes)

1 pound ground beef
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 Tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
1 teaspoons salt
Warmed hamburger buns

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook together the ground beef, onion, and green pepper until meat is cooked and crumbly. Stir in the ketchup, sugar, vinegar, mustard and salt. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on warmed hamburger buns. Serves 6. Recipe can easily be doubled.

To read about Memorial Day in my hometown along with another great recipe, click on here to read my daughter Kristina’s blog on Better Recipes!

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2 Responses to Memorial Day and a 1940’s recipe

  1. May 31, 2010 at 4:33 pm #


    You took my breath away by honoring my son in your column today. Thank you from the bottom of a my heart! One of my fondest memories of my son in the military actually took place in Libertyville just down the road from your home. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner following my son’s graduation from Great Lakes boot camp and the owner of the restaurant would not let us pay. He thanked my son for his service and I just balled my eyes out!


  2. May 31, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Hi Lisa,

    Your son was the first person I thought about today, and I was more than happy to honor him. I remember fondly when you were here to visit Will at Great Lakes and wish you could be here again. Remember, too, on that trip, you were the first to see my library card catalogue of recipes! Come back for a visit!!

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