Let's catch up a bit, shall we? I've got a lot of filling in the blank spaces to do. I'll probably jump around a bit, because otherwise I'd be blogging about the Fourth of July in September. So let's start there.
We started the morning at the Scripps Ranch Old Pros. Then came home and vegged. Well, the boys and I vegged. Thatboy did yard work. When he was finished, it was time for a little patriotic arts and crafts.
At Thanksgiving, Trader Joes came out with a gingerbread turkey. It was sold out before we even got to the store. So when I saw a gingerbread White House I snatched it up before the same could be true. Thatboy and Thatkid painstakingly went to work on it.
When they finished we ate lunch and took a family nap. And then it was pool time. First in our blow-up in the backyard,
Then over at our neighbors. We dined with our neighbors, a mini-block party with the group of us who end up together every Fourth of July. We ate hot dogs and corn and homemade pickles.
After dinner I took Thatbaby home and put him to bed. The benefit of spending the holidays with the neighbors is that the monitor reaches from his room to their house. So I brought it with me back to their front yard to watch the fireworks.
The Fourth of July isn't typically I holiday I went spend with my family, but for some reason I'm missing my dad a lot recently. I came across some of our old emails to each other. I'd forgotten that we'd had correspondence, and when I read them I can almost hear his voice in those words.
Thatdad was much more the "cook" in our family. He made dinner most nights, and fairly elaborate things. I have memories of ducks hanging upside down in our basement. Of hams, glazed and dotted with cloves. Of Cornish hens, perfectly dressed and roasted.
But there were also the meals from his childhood, which he would pull out when my mom was out of town. Fluffernutter sandwiches and sloppy joes. I don't know why these were reserved for times when my mom wasn't around, but it was tradition.
My dad made sloppy joes with a can of Manwich, but it's so easy to make your own sloppy joe sauce - a tangy, tomato based sauce. Every bite brings me right back to my childhood.
Sloppy Joe Sliders (from Cooking Light)
3/4 onion, chopped
10 oz 92% lean ground beef
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Wocestershire sauce
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 can no-salt added tomato sauce
8 slider buns
- Preheat broiler. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. While pan is heating, grate carrot. Add carrot, onion, and beef to pan. Cook 6 minutes or until beef is broned and vegetables are ender.
- Add garlic powder, chili powder, and pepper. Cook 1 minute.
- Combine ketchup and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add ketchup mixture to pan, stirring to coat beef mixture evenly. Simmer 5 minutes or until thick.
- While sauce thickens, arrange buns, cut sides up, in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.
- Place about 1/4 cup beef mixture on bottom half of each of 8 buns and top each slider with top half of bun.