Cafeteria Memories

Unlike Cas, I attended a very small elementary school.  There were probably 200 kids in the whole 1-6 give or take a few.  I have many fond memories of elementary school days.  Some of my favorite teachers come from those times and a few set me on the creative path I am now living.  I am even still in touch with them all these years later.


We were fortunate to have a really great cafeteria staffed with wonderful cooks.  Even though the era of canned goods was coming heavily into play, they still made yeast rolls from scratch and the food tasted like what most of us enjoyed at home from our mothers.  In fact, my own mother was over the cafeteria during the times my siblings were in school.  They used her yeast roll recipe until the school closed in 1978.


Friday’s was always “fun food” day.  It was the end of the week and everyone was tired and ready for the weekend.  We’d always have a couple of options: fish sticks with tater tots or Sloppy Joe’s with tater tots.  I always picked the Sloppy Joe as we traditionally had fish every Saturday night at home, thanks to my Dad who loved to fish.


Last week I was talking to Mom about something to fix for Friday night dinner.  She mentioned she had not had a Sloppy Joe in years.  I was immediately transported back to school days at Improve Elementary.  Yes!


This begs the question: why is it called a Sloppy Joe?  I started researching the name and also looking for a recipe in all the old cookbooks we’ve been collecting.  Guess what?  I did not find ONE recipe.  Zilch.  Nada.  The name also took me down several rabbit holes.


Come back for Sunday’s Food Flipper to see what I discovered about its name and origin and what I did about a recipe.

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