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MANLY Sloppy Joes

February 24, 2009

I’m *still* working on the draft I started last week talking about Ian’s (my 9 yo) first venture into cooking dinner for the family. It was so succesful that he’s doing it every week now. He was very very please with his ability to cook dinner. A little impatient with my ‘mom-like’ need to show him how to cut most efficiently and safely and he wouldn’t even let me STIR. He kept saying I was trying to take over! Not a pretty picture he painted of me LOL.

Anyways, this week’s dinner was ‘Manly Sloppy Joes’

The deal is, I give him 10 dollars (which should be MORE than enough) and he has to shop for all the ingredients on his list, keep it under 10 dollars, and if there is enough left over, he can buy dessert. We didn’t have dessert this time (I gave him more ideas, like instant pudding and cake mix for instance so maybe next time).

But anyways, this accomplishes a few things.

1. Ability to read and follow directions precisely

2. Knowledge of how a stove works, how food goes together, experience in seasoning things and figuring out in his brain what HE likes and what works for him.

3. Knowlege that HE is capable of feeding himself yumy food, that HE can cook food his whole family will eat and love.

4. Experience in shopping. Not only does this teach him to read lables, comparison shop and budget. But it gives him experience in doing it with guidelines yes, but doing it HIMSELF, and the only safety net is the cashier saying ‘That’ll be 10.53 please’ when he knows darn well he’s only got 10 dollars. So the thought of being told he didn’t have enough money made him read prices very carefully and do math very carefully (in his head even)

5. Self confidence, life skills, math skills, reading skills, comprehension skills, budgeting skills. All things that I think are important for someone I’d like to grow up into a responsible adult.

My ex-husband could cook ramen, mac and cheese and lots of breakfast egg things, like omelets and scrambled eggs. But pretty much everything else he knows about cooking came from me. He turned out to be an awesome student and outstripped me in a couple of areas (his pancakes are WAY better than mine, even GF) and I’ve learned things from him (omelets escaped me for years). But his lack of knowledge hurt him in his adult life. Not knowing how to cook the most basic of things made him feel helpless and left him at the mercy of whatever the chow-hall provided on base. Not something we want for any of our children. Anways, I’ll hop off this soapbox now…. and without further ado..

Manly Sloppy Joes

(hello, they are MANLY because Ian cooked em right?)

1 lb ground beef or turkey

1 can tomato paste

2 TB worchestishire sauce

1 TB brown sugar

1 diced bell pepper

1 half diced red onion

garlic powder (to taste)

black pepper (to taste)

salt (to taste)

1 pack of hamburger buns or your favorite GF recipe (mom uses chicken cans for buns)

Brown meat, while it’s browning, stir frequently to make sure it doesn’t get lumpy. Dice onions and put them in with the meat, then dice up bell pepper and put in with the meat. When meat is browned, drain the grease. Salt, pepper and garlic the mixture. Add in tomatoe paste, brown sugar and w. sauce. Let simmer on low for about 20 min stirring occasionally.

I make hamburger buns with the large size can of chicken/tuna. I just fill it all the way up with Pamela’s Bread Mix in a greased can. Wet my hands to smooth the top down and sprinkle on some sesame seeds. Then bake normally.

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