I just made Sloppy Joes for dinner. Nothing fancy. It’s a go-to dinner that fills up hungry boys and is easy to make. I use turkey. I know some think that is sacrilegious, but I don’t like all the grease of red meat.

Like many things, making Sloppy Joes in Panama is a bit more complicated. No can of Manwich that I grab from the cupboard. Buying veggies here like bell peppers and onions would work but veggies seem to be tougher here and require a bit more work. Not to mention the kids were going to balk at visible vegetables in  an old standard.

Some how I recreated the Sloppy Joes of memory. I’m pretty proud of myself, but I’m not sure if I should tell you what I actually put in them.

The first time I made Sloppy Joes, I checked the internet for recipes. And there are some great recipes out there, but they aren’t the plain old Sloppy Joes of my kids’ childhood.

I improvised.

I threw in some tomato paste. Added some ketchup. Tossed in a bit of garlic powder and onion powdered. Grated pepper over the pan. Hmmm. Didn’t have the right taste. A dash of Worcestershire went in. Very little brown sugar to sweeten it up.

Still not quite right.

What did it need? A couple of the recipes I had read recommended red pepper flakes and dried mustard. I didn’t have red pepper flakes. I didn’t have dried mustard. I did have yellow mustard. A squirt went in. Added a smidge of taco sauce.

Bingo…. Sloppy Joes just like childhood. Happiness on a bun.

Don’t tell the kids.

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