None of us know why Grandma called this recipe “Chop Suey”. There is nothing Asian about the ingredients or the end result. But, we all loved it. It was easy to make a batch for several kids (or several meals), and it went down warm and comfort-y. A few of us still make it today.
This is the version of Chop Suey I have in my recipe book from the early 80’s. I’d asked Grandma how to make it on the phone and wrote down what she said, pretty much verbatim.
Fill large red pan 1/2 full water, 1/2 full tomato juice. 2 tsp (or more) chili powder w/salt, pepper and onions (dry or fresh).
Boil, put in noodles, cook on medium until noodles tender. Simmer 5 minutes. After hamburger is done, add and simmer to taste.
Okay, so obviously Grandma knew about the large red pan I had and as I recall, I’d use 1 large can of tomato juice, then fill that can with water for the water/tomato juice mixture. I probably used about a pound of hamburger (which was browning while the noodles were cooking).
My cousin Connie remembers adding butter to the pot, I don’t recall doing that but everything is better with butter!