Two weeks ago Friday, we were once again faced with the threat of tornadoes.  We live in Northern Alabama, which was hit hard in a series of tornadoes on April 27, 2011.  It was a very scary day.  The likes of which you don’t forget.

This latest threat got us a bit edgy with reason.  Several tornadoes once again hit the area.  The tragic part is they travelled the same path as those taken on April 27.  People, who lost everything a year ago, lost everything again.

We had a quiet spell.  It was bad in the morning and then it was supposed to be really bad in the evening.  Since our power was flickering and I didn’t have anything to grill, I decided to make my Mom’s tried and true camping meal.  We called it “Meal-in-One”.  She made it at home, and the heated it up on the Coleman Stove once we got our camp site up.  It’s a comfort food for me, and brings back great memories.  It was a perfect meal for a stressful day.  An added plus, it was much nicer reminiscing with the kids about our old camping trips than reliving the tornadoes of the past.  Also if we lost power, we could get out the camp stove and heat it up.

Here’s my Mom’s Meal in One.  I usually change the spices a bit.  My kids like their food spicier than my brother and I did when we were little.

Mom’s Meal-in-One

  • 1 pkg (8 0z) Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 1 tbs butter or margarine
  • 2 lbs of ground meat
  • 3 cans (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (12 oz) corn
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 2 tsp MSG (never use)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp oregano leaves
  • ¼ lb of grated sharp cheddar cheese

Cook the macaroni and set it aside.  In a large skillet, cook the onions in butter or margarine until golden.  Add meat and cook it till brown.  Stir in all ingredients except the macaroni and cheese.  Simmer 30 minutes.  Stirring occasionally.  Mix in Macaroni and cheese and serve. This made enough to feed all of us with no leftovers.  My crowd can put the food away.

Normally, I make it in a Dutch oven, but I actually used several pots to make sure my vegetarian didn’t get any meat.  I cooked the meat in a skillet and added it after I pulled out some of the sauce for Jacob and put it in a bowl.  His didn’t simmer, I just added a bit of the cheese and some macaroni and he was set.

This is a picture which would have been taken in 1963 in our tried and true tent.  We used this tent for every campout until well into the late 1970’s.  It was a pain to set up, but it sure did the trick.  If you look closely, you can see my brother and me.

Here is a view from Skyline drive.  The picture makes me laugh.  This could be a picture taken of my kids.  My boys and my girls for that matter are forever attacking each other with NERF swords.  They leave mom out of it because she cries like a baby if you hit her.  Those crazy swords may be called NERF but they leave a mark!


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