The weekend after Thanksgiving is my own; Chad is deer-hunting and I have 3 days to myself. Do I go to a Chippendale’s show? No. Do I participate in the increasingly-crazy and time-consuming ritual of Black Friday Shopping? Definitely not. Do I get a mani-pedi? Never. So what exciting luxuries do I indulge in when alone? I make food that Chad doesn’t like. Unfortunately, it’s even less naughty than you can possibly imagine. I don’t bake cookies or cakes, or spend hours making fudge or other treats. I make my families goulash recipe. That’s the big event. And as you can tell by the ingredient list below, it is NOT an authentic, ethnic recipe.
- 1# Ground beef
- 7 oz Elbow macaroni
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 cans Alphabet soup
- 1 tsp dried, minced onion
- For some reason, I ALWAYS eat pickles with this, though it is a very salty dish already (check out the nutritional info!)
In case you would like to try this, there are basically three steps:
- Brown beef and drain.
- Cook pasta and drain.
- Mix all ingredients together until blended and hot.
–This is not a secret family recipe: you can Google “goulash” and “ABC soup” and get many different versions of this recipe…perhaps you have even had something like this before!
I have eaten this ever since I can remember, and it is very much an emotional favorite of mine. I remember coming home from college on the weekends and eating HUGE platefuls…it’s one of those foods that I never get enough of, regardless of whether I am actually full! Chad will not eat it for a few reasons. First, he has an aversion to most “hot dishes” or “casseroles,” depending on your geographic location. Second, he hates ketchup, so this goulash, which has a whole cup, is a non-starter for him.
When I got married and was trying to do little things to make my meals healthier, I tried some changes. I tried replacing the pasta–usually Creamette brand and “white,” vs the new whole wheat pastas that are available. I also tried to replace the ketchup, and used fresh onions instead of the dehydrated, minced version. However, any alteration changed the flavor too much, and since I wanted to keep the same taste, now I always make it the “old fashioned way.” (Especially since it’s only once a year!)
I have had “Fish Sticks to Sushi” meals that are similar to a goulash but had higher-end ingredients and were prepared in a fancier way, such as stroganoffs and bologneses, and countless other soups and stews that are loosely related to the term “goulash.” But this dish will remain as much of a favorite to me as the proverbial “Grandma’s apple pie.” So when Chad trudges off into the woods and I am on my own for dinner (and lunch!) for a few days, I take a break from putting up the holiday decorations to indulge in a once-a-year memory.