Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Grandma's Tomatoes

Ever since I was little, every holiday or family reunion, my grandmother would make her wonderful tomato casserole. It was one of the dishes everyone expected to be there along with my Aunt Elva's macaroni and cheese, and my Mother's mocha chocolate cake.
Every time I make my Grandma's tomatoes, I remember so many things about her. Her laugh, her perfume
(she always smelled so good), the way she talked to my Grandfather, Fatty (this was his nickname, but he was always thin. I heard he was chubby when he was young, hence the nickname, but I never knew him that way!) It is now my Dad who makes the tomatoes for all the holidays. They are too good to only have them at holidays, so I make them all the time. They are especially delicious as left overs! I hope you try these for yourself and start a new tradition for your family!


About two pounds of homemade stewed tomatoes made with sauteed onions and celery
2   14.5 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes, heated up so a little bit of the liquid evaporates.
1    TBS. Sugar
1/2  C chopped onion
1/2  C chopped celery
1/4  lb. plus 2 TBS butter
1   1 lb. loaf regular sliced white bread cut into 1/2 inch cubes (or about 16 slices)
5  oz. extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated
1   4 1/2 jar of whole button mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Lightly grease a 2.3 liter casserole dish
2.  Place tomatoes in the baking dish and sprinkle with the sugar and salt and pepper ( I use about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of salt and
     pepper). Cut any large pieces of tomato into smaller pieces.
3.  Saute the onions and celery in the 2 TBS. of butter until translucent (about 8 - 10 minutes on med. low)  Do not brown.
4.  Add the onions and celery to the cubed bread and add salt and pepper to taste (I usually use about 1/2 tsp. of each) Mix lightly.
5.  Melt the 1/4 lb. of butter and add it to the bread cube mixture, mix together.
6.  Put the bread cube mixture on top of the tomatoes evenly.
7.  Put the grated cheddar cheese evenly on top of the bread cube mixture.
8.  Add the mushrooms evenly over the grated cheese.
9. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 50 minutes. At about 35 minutes you may want to put a lid or foil on the casserole so
    the cheese doesn't brown.


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