Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stewed Tomatoes

Stewed Tomatoes

Dorcas Annette Walker

Tomatoes are a popular home garden crop. They require a small area, bear repeatedly with an abundance of fruit, are widely adapted, and easy to grow. There is nothing like the first time a home gardener goes out and picks the first ripe tomato off the vine that he has watched slowly mature. Tomatoes are a favorite subject of gardeners. Some prefer a real mouth puckering tomato while others like a sweeter tasting tomato. Then another consideration is open-pollinated or hybrid, staking or bush, fast ripening, early, main season, or late variety. There are also over 600 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. You can choose any color you wish from the traditional deep red; a rainbow of green, yellow, and pink; yellowish white; bright orange; yellow red; pink; orangey red; deep yellow; pinky purple; lemon yellow; to red and orange stripes. In other words there is a tomato out there for everyone.

There are endless recipes of how to prepare tomatoes. Tomatoes were popular and a traditional southern dish during the latter part of the Civil War. An 1825 recipe for stewed tomatoes says to take off the skin, put the tomatoes into a pan with salt, pepper, butter and cook until thick. Not only are tomatoes tasty, but they are healthy for you as tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, low in calories, and have been linked to prevention of cancer. For the younger generation there is a female rock band called "Stewed Tomatoes". I think the name says it all.

I’ve never had a recipe until now for my homemade Stewed Tomatoes that tastes very similar to fried tomatoes due to browning the flour before adding fresh or canned tomatoes. Stewed Tomatoes makes an attractive vegetable dish by itself or you can eat them over toast for a nutritious and economical lunch. Stewed Tomatoes are good year round, but comes in handy during the summer when canning tomatoes and you have one quart that doesn’t seal or extra tomatoes that needs to be used up. My Stewed Tomatoes takes thirty minutes to prepare and this recipe serves six.

Stewed Tomatoes

4 tb margarine
¾ c self-rising flour
1 c cold water
1 qt tomatoes
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

In a medium-sized saucepan melt margarine and then stir in the flour. Turn up the heat and brown the flour. Then turn down the heat to low and quickly add water and tomatoes. Turn the heat back up gently stirring the tomatoes until they boil. Add salt and pepper. Let simmer for fifteen more minutes. Serve hot by itself or over buttered toast!

Weekly tip: Never refrigerate tomatoes as it destroys the flavor and makes them mealy. If your tomatoes need ripening place them in a paper bag with a banana or apple for a couple of days!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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