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Break into bits 2 slices of stale bread. Add to 4 cups canned or fresh tomatoes, peeled and quartered, with half an onion, chopped, and about 2/3 cup brown sugar. Salt lightly.
Bring mixture to a boil and simmer gently for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
My notes say, “It does need three hours to cook, even with pan lid off most of time. Perhaps some of thin tomato juices could be poured off at beginning, shortening cooking time.”
Tomatoes Maryland is kind of sweet side dish American cooks like to serve with chicken or pork. I was going to say, “cooks from regions other than Northeast.” Then I remembered applesauce with pork, cranberry sauce with turkey, mint jelly with lamb, and baked beans with salt pork. Not to mention pancakes and syrup with sausages cuddled up close. And mincemeat pie, that ultimate mixture of meat and sweet. (And, yes, real mincemeat, as opposed to a packaged mix, does contain meat.)
I will add that some people of Grandpa’s generation did eat diced raw garden tomatoes for breakfast, just as one would eat strawberries, with sugar and cream. You see, it was safe to eat them raw with sugar and cream, because tomatoes then ceased to be a vegetable and became a fruit.
And actually those old-time breakfasters were right. Fresh vine-ripened tomatoes are good with sugar and cream. Let’s face it, most things are good with sugar and cream. And of course tomatoes really are a fruit.
Go STEAMIN’ DOWN THE TRACKS WITH VIOLA HOCKENBERRY, a storytelling cookbook -- and find Montana country cooking, nostalgic stories, and gift ideas -- at Janette Blackwell’s Food and Fiction, http://foodandfiction.com/Entrance.html -- or visit her Delightful Food Directory, http://delightfulfood.com/main.html