A Massachusetts reader, Catherine Potter, recently sent me an email in search of a recipe. She commented that with all the snowy weather, she’s been doing a lot of baking. But it was a recipe for an entree that she was looking for, one that a good friend had shared.

“I would love to have a recipe (which dates back to the early 1960s) of a hamburger pie that was incredibly good. In an effort to duplicate it, I have tried many recipes but can’t quite get the combination of ingredients right,” Cathy said.

The dish included ground beef, chopped onion, celery and green pepper, tomato soup and yellow mustard, “all in a delicious pie crust that had cheddar cheese mixed into the pastry,” she recalled. “This was before the days of food processors, and I remember the large quantities of chopped ingredients were somewhat of an effort.”

I went online and looked around for something similar, and found a recipe. Meanwhile, Cathy decided to put social media to work, and made a search on Facebook for that long-ago friend. As it turned out, she easily found her, and not only will she get the recipe, but a chance to reconnect in person.

It’s an example of just one more way the Internet has changed cooking as well as sharing recipes with friends. Not only can you find endless versions of recipes online, you can find YouTube videos to lead you through making them. Recipe sites let you share instantly with friends via email.

However, Cathy’s experience shows that sometimes it’s good to just sit down with a friend and chat about recipes over a cup of coffee. I know my late mother was always interested in what new dishes I had tried.

Despite having a computer at my fingertips, I still like to do a little sleuthing on my own. I always enjoy poring over my cookbooks — the ones on my shelves, that is. Meanwhile, here’s a version of that cheeseburger pie that I found online.

Cheeseburger Pie
Serves six

Ingredients:
1 9-inch pie crust, baked
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce, divided
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chili sauce

Cook ground beef, green pepper, and onion in a large skillet until meat is browned, stirring to crumble meat; drain.
Add 1/2 cup tomato sauce and next five ingredients, stirring well. Spoon mixture into prepared crust.

Combine egg and next four ingredients, stirring well; spoon evenly over meat mixture.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Combine remaining tomato sauce and chili sauce; serve with pie.

From Food.com.
Joanna McQuillan Weeks is food editor of The Standard-Times in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Contact her at foodedit@s-t.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JoannaWeeksSCT.