Recipes from the Heart

A family recipe handed down for generations is truly a happy thing to treasure. These recipes are tried and true, having proven they can withstand the test of time because they are sooooo good. When I was little, I often visited my grandmother and the first thing I did was to make a beeline for the round pink glass cookie jar in the kitchen. It was always filled with sugar cookies, never any other kind, but they were sweet and crisp and topped with big crunchy sugar crystals. I have her recipe, handwritten in cursive on lined paper. The recipe has aged and yellowed but it still warms my heart and then I recall the joyful memories of my visits there. I keep a notebook of recipes handwritten by my friends and relatives and it is one of my most favorite possessions.

Another favorite recipe is from my Aunt Bee who had a quaint small restaurant with a limited menu but everything was homemade. Working there was my first job and the recipe was a secret until her death. Now I have it and I’m giving it to you! This is a one-pot meal so you don’t have to spend precious time cleaning up.

Mrs. B’s Special

1 pound ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup green pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3-4 cloves garlic or heaping teaspoon garlic powder
½ tsp dry mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup ketchup
8 oz tomato sauce
Beef bouillon

Cook the ground beef in a pot big enough to hold all the ingredients. Remove and drain the beef after it is browned. Add olive oil and sauté all the vegetables until they are soft. Add remaining ingredients including beef and simmer for 10-15 minutes, diluting with beef broth to your desired thickness. Serve over toasted hamburger buns.  Squirt some yellow mustard on the top, if you like.

I keep green peppers frozen in halves so those are always on hand, also beef bouillon concentrate. You can substitute garlic salt for the garlic and the salt. One time I was out of ketchup so I used tomato paste and brown sugar. This is one recipe you can play around with to make it your own. You can easily double the recipe. Once I made it for a gathering of 18 people and it was delicious and satisfying.

Do you have a favorite heirloom recipe? If so, consider writing it down and giving it as a present to someone. Who knows, maybe your recipe will be unforgettable and give joy and nourishment to people down the road for many generations to come. I’d love to hear about yours!