As many of you know, I was a teacher for 12 years prior to becoming a Realtor. My first official day as a broker was set to be Windermere Community Service Day, a day spent spiffing up a local organization. Oh, the irony! As I split from my many years of teaching, my first day in real estate was spent at a...school?? And irony of all ironies: it was Seward School (now known as TOPS), MY very own elementary school from the ‘70s! As I launched my new life at Windermere, weirdly I’d come full circle! Setting foot on campus, good memories flooded over me, the best of which were the belly laugh of Mr. Buster Solomon, as kind a human being as you’ll ever find, and the heavenly perfume of Sloppy Joe day. For a kid who happily brown-bagged-it with salami sandwiches and apple sauce, a “Super Seward” sloppy joe was a welcome deviation from Mamma’s loving-packed sack. And if you were Super Seward lucky that day, Mr. Solomon would invite you to help clean up the cafeteria, which meant more belly laughs and then an ice cream social with potato chips and blow pops down at his shop after school.
1. Over medium-high heat, brown 1 ¼ lb. lean ground beef (turkey works well too!) in 1 tsp. olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat into small pieces. Pour off any excess fat.
2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add 2 tbsp. brown sugar, 2 tbsp. dried minced onion, 1 tsp. paprika, ½ tsp. garlic powder, and 1 tsp. chili powder. Cook, stirring to blend, for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Stir in 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce, 2 tbsp. tomato paste, 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, and 2 tsp. red wine vinegar. Bring to a gentle simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for 5 more minutes.
4. Spoon over the buns of your choice: we like fluffy brioche buns or King’s Hawaiian buns. Served with a side of potato chips and blow pops and you, too, will enjoy a Buster Solomon belly laugh! (Source: The Cookbook for Kids, Atwood)