As I just mentioned in this post about the “Christmas on the Peninsula” Bazaar at Old Mission Peninsula United Methodist Church (tomorrow!), there will be a light lunch available, and Marge Long is making her mom Jo Brown’s famous Sloppy Joes, which Jo herself used to make for the church bazaar every year.
Other than the fact that these Sloppy Joes are delicious, I didn’t really piece together why I loved them so much until Marge mentioned on Facebook yesterday that this is the recipe that Jo made for our lunches at Old Mission Peninsula School back in the 1960s and 70s. You know, back when our school cooks like Jo Brown, Lucile Lindsey and Clarissa Boursaw made kids’ lunches from scratch. (Remember the cinnamon rolls?)
Marge happened to post her mom’s Sloppy Joes recipe – in Jo’s own handwriting – on Facebook yesterday, so – ding! ding! ding! – a big lightbulb went off and I asked if I could post it on the Gazette and of course, Marge said yes, that her mom would be pleased that her recipe is still being shared and used.
In fact, I have a ton of vintage Old Mission Peninsula recipes, from church cookbooks, school cookbooks, handwritten slips of paper found in my mom’s cookbooks, a box I collected at the Ladd sisters’ estate sale eons ago, and so on and so forth. At some point, I’ll gather them all into a collection one way or another.
I sifted through my old church photos, but couldn’t find a photo of Jo Brown right off the bat (time to organize those boxes of photos, Jane), so I’ve included a photo of Ed and Jo Brown with son Eddie from the Ogdensburg United Methodist Church Directory, 1971. (The church is now named Old Mission Peninsula United Methodist Church.)
Here’s Jo Brown’s recipe for Sloppy Joes. If you click the “printer” icon at the top of this story, it’ll give you a printer-friendly page you can print off. And be sure and come by the church bazaar tomorrow and try the recipe in person.
JO BROWN’S SLOPPY JOES
2 c. onions
4 Tbsp. butter or oleo
8 lbs. ground beef
5 1/3 c. catsup
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
6 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
6 tsp. salt
6 tsp. vinegar
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
Optional: Green pepper and celery may also be added.
Brown the meat and onions together in the butter, then add the other ingredients. Enjoy. (As Jo notes on the recipe below, this recipe will feed 35 people, so reduce or add measurements accordingly.)