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It’s been wonderful having my two youngest children home for the last few weeks. It’s like a gift of an extended childhood for the boys. We have been playing games, doing projects, and cooking together.

When they first moved back home, we were cooking family favorites and some fancier foods that I normally don’t make, but they were so happy to not eat college dorm food. Then, just like that, we transitioned to more basic “get food on the table quick” meals. 

Tacos, sandwiches, and hot dishes have been our mainstay for the last week. Something I have not made in years is sloppy joes. It was a family favorite, but for some reason, it slipped my mind. My mother used to make them all the time using beef. I prefer them with turkey meat. I believe the flavor of the sauce really shines through when you use a milder meat. You can use chicken, pheasant or turkey. I made these last week and am making them again next week. They are that good!

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Serves 6

1 Tbsp. oil

1 large onion, chopped 

2 lbs. of ground turkey with 10% fat

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small can tomato paste

½ cup water

½ cup ketchup

¼ cup mustard

1 ½ Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

8 hamburger buns

In a large frypan cook onion in oil over medium heat for five minutes. Add turkey and cook until all liquid has evaporated—about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Then add remaining ingredients.  Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes over low heat until meat is tender and sauce is very thick. Spoon onto buns and serve immediately. 

Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes at or email her at

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