My Mom’s 1963 HomeEc Recipe & Story Time

This morning I asked my husband what he felt like for dinner. He couldn’t think of anything, it was 6am after all and whose thinking of dinner fist thing in the morning when you haven’t even had breakfast or lunch. I had been thinking about a dish my mom made when I was a kid that I really loved and had made it for my husband who really liked it, but for some reason I have not ever made it for my kids. So I called my mom told her what I was making. Then sent her pictures of our dinner which brought back so many memories. I asked her to write me about this recipe because it’s something I think is really cool and I would like to share.

My Mom Cyndi’s Story:

Late this afternoon, my daughter, Ashley called me while she was preparing dinner as she often does. She told me she was making “that sausage dish that you used to make”. I knew immediately the one she was talking about because I made it quite often when she was growing up and it was a favorite in our home. I guess there are several reasons it showed up frequently on our table. First, it was inexpensive, we were a military family and money was tight. Second, it was quick and easy with a few ingredients mostly staples. And lastly, it was full of favor without being overly spicy. My husband hated spicy food. 

Ashley said she had not made it for quite awhile and did not remember the name of the dish so she called it Mexican Goulash. I said the actual name was Mexican Luncheon. In recalling that, it brought back lots of memories. I began to tell her how I first learned to make this dish. It goes all the way back to 1963, Miss Camper’s 8th grade Home Economics Class at Breckinridge Junior  high School in Roanoke, Virginia. Our class was beginning to learn about cooking and Miss Camper had a public relations representative from the local power company, Appalachian Power, do a cooking demonstration for the class. This was the dish she made. Everyone loved it and we were given a copy or had to copy the recipe as it was written on the blackboard. I am not sure which. 

Of course, I wanted to show my Mom that I was learning to cook and I had a recipe I could make for the family. She got the ingredients for me and it was a hit my family, especially with my brothers. That was a bit surprising because we lived in an area that did not have any Mexican restaurants. We were in the South where southern cooking is king and that is how my Mom cooked for us. Fast forward a few years and I was making this for my own family. Now, Ashley is making her version for her family

A few years ago, some of my friends I grew up with in Roanoke started a cooking group on Facebook. Most of the posts were favorite recipes and memories of life events and so forth. Then someone posted”What was that sausage and macaroni dish that we made in HomeEc?”.  I chimed in and posted the recipe. It brought back many memories in the group and many thanks to me for posting the recipe. 

The recipe is very simple and easy for a burgeoning 8th grade student cooks back in the day. With a few tweaks, my daughter has made it her own and now calls it “Mexican Skillet”. She is an amazing cook and her family is certainly blessed. She puts so much care and thought in her meals. She ask if I would write the back story of this recipe for her blog and I readily agreed. I have to say, it makes my heart smile that she still likes one of the simple meals I made while she was growing up and maybe one day she will make this dish and  tell the story to her daughter’s family. 

This is the original recipe called “Mexican Luncheon” from Appalachian Power Company. 

Mexican Luncheon

1lbs ground sausage

1 8 oz sour cream

1 cup uncooked macaroni

1 onion chopped

1 green pepper chopped

1 large can tomatoes drained

1 ½ tablespoons sugar

chilli powder to taste

Brown sausage in large skillet and drain grease. Add onion and pepper to skillet and continue to brown Once onion is transparent add rest of ingredients and reduce heat. Cook covered for 10 mins and stir. Continue cooking for an additional 10 mins uncovered.

So here are some of my slight changes and adds I made to the original:

I use 1 1/4 cup large macaroni.

I use 1 tbsp of monk fruit sweetener instead of sugar.

I use one tbsp of Dano’s Spicy Seasoning.

I use about capful of chili powder if you are wondering about the chili powder.

My family likes topping it with a little pepper Jack cheese.

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