Golly Ma Cha

20 Jun

This morning as I was preparing 85 tomatoes to run through the canning process, my mind began to wander through our upcoming events, the chores that needed to get done in preparation of said events and the limited amount of time involved.  At some point the wandering keyed in on one particular thing so I took the opportunity to make some plans in advance.  Hubby doodle and the boys will be leaving next Wednesday for Lake Calcasieu(Cal-ka-shoo) in Louisiana, to partake in a little fishing and exploring expedition.  This of course means that at some point in time “I” will have the house (and the stove) pretty much to myself.  Well not exactly–daughter #1 and grandchild 1 & 2 will be here, however daughter #1 does not cook when she is visiting so I still get the stove.  Strange as it may seem, this is very exciting news for me as the man of the house has a thing for cooking.  He is also somewhat of a nutrition freak and gets a little pissy when I want time at the stove to fix some good old-fashioned comfort food.

There is this one dish that I love to make whenever he is out-of-town, which is a rare thing because for the love of money the man just won’t leave town for nothing.

Many moons ago, when I was but a child, my mom came home late from work one day all in a panic because she was of course late getting supper on the table.  We ate promptly at 5 p.m., no sooner and no later, religiously.  Racing into the kitchen she began to brown some ground meat on the stove, she put another pot of water on to boil some spaghetti and grabbed a bunch of cans out of the pantry.  Now there were some rules we always followed when mom was in a tizzy, one was never question what she was doing and never, ever get in her way.  On this particular day all us kids decided to keep a low profile in the living room even tho we were starving to death and chomping at the bit to eat supper.  All of a sudden we hear mom scream from the kitchen like there was a boogie man in the house or something.  We all jump up and run in there to see what was the matter only to be shooed out by dad who had also gone in there to see what the heck was up.  They have a little pow wow and soon enough things quiet down.  We finally sit down to dinner and all mom can do is apologize for ruining our dinner, the dreaded anticipation of eating what we thought would be a charred meal was horrible to say the least.  Glancing around the table it was evident that everyone had the same thought, that no matter what was served it would be the best meal EVER!

One by one she serves each plate and we give each one a questioning look as each blob filled plate is passed around.  Tentative smiles are on everyone’s face as if to say, golly ma this looks, um good?  Finally someone has the nerve to just come out and say, “Well what is it?”  Mom of course, begins to cry and says she was planning on making spaghetti and meat sauce but she was in such a hurry she wasn’t paying attention to the cans she took out of the pantry.  She just opened them up and threw them in the pot.  It wasn’t until she went to stir them all together that she realized she had opened a can of beans instead of tomato sauce.

Okay, um, ssssooooo, what you’re saying is that we are having spaghetti and meat sauce with beans.  Not just any beans either, those would be red kidney beans.  Okay.  Slowly we begin to give this new dish a taste, and another and another.  Miraculously this was not as bad as it sounded, it actually didn’t taste like spaghetti and meat sauce at all. We began to praise at her culinary genius for fixing what was potentially a terrible mistake, she insists we are just saying that to make her feel better, we continue because after all it really is very good.  We assure her this is a “do again” meal, but what do you call this blob with the beans.  So, what do we know we were 8, 9 and 10 ,we named the thing Golly Ma Cha, which I have to say is a whole lot better than Blob with Beans.

This is comfort food from your childhood.

This is what I am making for dinner on Wednesday.  Want the recipe?  Here goes:

Golly Ma Cha

1 pound ground meat          1 medium onion, chopped          1 medium bell pepper, chopped          1 can diced tomatoes          1 can Rotelle          1 can red kidney beans          1 (16 oz.) package spaghetti noodles          salt, pepper and garlic to taste          1 large package Kraft American cheese slices (warning do not substitute any other form of cheese, we have tried and it does not work)

Boil spaghetti noodles for 8 minutes, drain and set aside.  Brown ground meat in a large pot, drain grease in colander then return to pot.  Add chopped onion and bell pepper, saute until onions are tender.  Add diced tomatoes, Rotelle and red kidney beans, simmer for 20 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.  Turn burner to low.  Fold in Spaghetti noodles until well incorporated.  Layer top with Kraft American cheese slices. Cover until cheese is slightly melted.  Serve with salad and garlic bread.

Sometimes, when I am really in a cheesy frame of mind, I let that first layer of cheese melt really good, stir it all together and add another layer of cheese.  But you have to be in a really cheesy mood to do that.

Now on the rare occasion that I dare to make this when that old man is home, the only way I can enjoy “my” dinner is to make him this alternate version:

Just before adding the spaghetti noodles I take out about 4 or 5 heaping ladles of the meat mixture and put it in a separate smaller pot.  To this pot I add another can of diced tomatoes and about one cup of spaghetti noodles.  This pot gets absolutely NO cheese.  This would be Golly Ma Cha Soup and is way much healthier than the original version but way less comfort foody.

I can’t wait until Wednesday!

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