This recipe has a family connection. When I was very young, our church had a "round-the-block" parade every July, the anniversary month of the date our pioneer ancestors migrated to our state. The children dressed like pioneers and decorated their little red wagons like covered wagons. Some of us festooned our bicycles with crepe paper streamers and put playing cards on our spokes and we walked and rode "around the block". We were little after all and couldn't walk very far. Neighbors came out to their yards to cheer and clap (they were nice to little kids). Afterwards, we gathered on the church lawn and had lunch, which was always Sloppy Joes, homemade root beer, and popcorn balls. There must have been other food items served but those were the my favorites. This recipe has been an extended family favorite ever since. I posted a photo on the blog here, but didn't give you the recipe. And you need the recipe...trust me.
These Sloppy Joes were a hit at the Mingle. We served second helpings and even quite a few thirds.
You'll see that this recipe has a version that feeds 80 people. I told you it's original to the Parade.
For my family I make the small version but for the mingle I doubled the 80 serving version to feed 160 people. You choose the size that's right for your gathering. You can see what 160 servings looks like below. The black soup pot is a 10 quart size.
Round-the-block Parade Sloppy Joes
For 16 buns:
2 pounds ofground beef
2 medium onions
1½ cups of ketchup
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
½ teaspoon of curry powder
½ teaspoon of chili powder
2 bay leaves
1 cup of tomato juice
For 80 buns:
10 pounds of ground beef
10 medium onions
10 medium onions
7 ½ cups of ketchup
5 teaspoons of granulated sugar
2 ½ teaspoons of curry powder
2 ½ teaspoons of chili powder
4 bay leaves
5 cups of tomato juice
Brown hamburger and drain grease.
Combine all of the ingredients in a large heavy pan.
Simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring and checking mixture occasionally to make sure that the pot doesn’t boil dry.
Serve on buns.
This freezes well. It is actually better if made one day ahead and refrigerated and reheated.