I had to write this after reading your piece on sloppy Joes ["A hot mess: Let us celebrate the proletarian but enduring sloppy Joe" by Gretchen McKay, Food & Flavor, Jan. 16]. I attended Avella school district. In order to raise money for events, we always had to come up with new ideas. At some point, because we had no cafeteria, each junior class had the opportunity to make and sell sloppy Joes to the students one or two days a month. We would meet in the Home Ec room after school to make the sandwiches, put them in cardboard containers (marked by classroom name) and leave them in the refrigerator. The next morning at some point we returned to put them in the ovens to reheat and then took them to each classroom to serve.
Can you imagine the fun and delight of that hot sandwich on those couple of days?
I have to admit that for 25 cents we weren't too fancy in our presentation -- as I recall we served it on paper sheets from the deli section of our local grocery -- with nothing like chips or anything else.
To this day I love the taste of that sloppy Joe, especially if I remembered to refrigerate it on a bun the night before. The junior classes raised a lot of money for junior-senior proms that way.
Thanks for the memories.
SUE STRUNK / Robinson
Healthy cooking for one
I read your article ["PrepAbility: People learn to cook in order to maintain healthy weight" by Bob Batz Jr., Food & Flavor, Feb. 6] with interest and some amusement. I am a 79-year-old widower who tries to cook healthy for one, with a limited budget to boot. It is a challenge to be sure, but I don't think that class would work for me. I pretty much use salt-free food as much as possible and totally avoid peppers, onions and garlic, which I can't eat. But I have found a variety of common food items that, used together, enrich the taste of easily available food and make it possible to cook in small portions. I am always looking for new ideas, though, and enjoyed the article.
JIM PASTORIUS / Butler
A simpler chess move
I grew up in central Ohio, and my mother was a wonderful pie baker. Her chess pie recipe is much simpler than the one with vinegar that you published ["Are you desperate for pie?" by Bob Batz Jr., Food & Flavor, Jan. 23], and it was really good.
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
Meringue (for topping)
Mix together all ingredients and pour into unbaked crust. Bake slowly -- and cover with meringue.
ESTHER QUENEAU / Mt. Lebanon
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