Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Just like Mama used to make, no joke—Breaded Tomatoes

After carting in another basketful of what must be our best-ever tomato crop, I knew what would make Hubby happiest—a big bowl of Breaded Tomatoes, just like Mama used to make.

Breaded tomatoes represented a new dining experience for me after I became affiliated with my hubby’s family. Growing up I can’t remember ever dining on them, even though the ladies in my family were quintessential Southern cooks and this dish is a quintessential Southern icon.

After early-marriage visits to Hubby’s Mother’s home and enjoying Breaded Tomatoes with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this experience was seconded when Hubby and I used to dine at the Claudia Sanders Inn when we lived in Kentucky. This memorable restaurant, named for the wife of The Colonel, was said to be the precursor of the KFC. Alongside the chicken entree prepared with the mysterious 11 herbs and spices was served Breaded Tomatoes, the kiss of the South. In both cases—those of Grandmother Moore and Mrs. Colonel—the “dash” of sugar added was more like a handful. Grandmother was known for adding a surplus of sugar to most any recipe. (In using sugar substitute, as I mention in my recipe, the sugar doesn’t have to be harmful and sweetens without the accompanying guilt.)

When I ultimately obtained from her the recipe (featured in my cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden), I wasn’t surprised to see that the last four ingredients consisted of “a dash of this and a pinch of that”. A lot of guesswork was involved at first, but now I’m an old hand at them—almost like Mama’s, but a good attempt and a wonderful way to use tomatoes.

Breaded Tomatoes

4 whole tomatoes
1/2 cup water
3 slices whole-wheat day-old bread
salt (or salt substitute) to taste
dash sugar (or sugar substitute)
1 pinch baking soda

In saucepan add 4 diced tomatoes that have been mashed up so that the juice emerges in pan. Cover with 1/2 cup water. Allow this mixture to boil. Break up the bread slices into small pieces and stir into the tomato mixture. Add salt, pepper, sugar, and baking soda. Allow to boil until mixture is thick; simmer for 10 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

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