Saturday, August 21, 2010

Stuffed Tomato Day

For the past three years since we've had a garden, at tomato harvest time, my husband has asked me to make stuffed tomatoes. Well, I've never eaten them and have certainly never made them so I really don't understand what everyone is raving about, but decided it might be time to give it a try. Besides, if I make the famous stuffed tomatoes maybe they won't force me to make stuffed peppers, which most men love, but I believe smell the same as the bottom of a ripe dumpster.

Evelyn, the 89 year old matriarch of the clan, has loosely translated this recipe to me, so I'll loosely translate it to you:


First of all, decide how many stuffed tomatoes you want to cook and/or freeze and buy your ingredients accordingly. I'm shooting for 12 - 18:

  • 2 bags Plain bread stuffing
  • Sausage (I used one Jimmy Dean regular)
  • Bacon (I'm using about 2/3 of a pound, which is what is leftover from our last BLT feast)
  • 3 sweet onions, diced
  • Whole stalk of celery, diced
  • Natural Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Tomatoes, washed, cored & gutted. Leave the meat on the outside of the tomato & reserve the guts minus the seeds.
  • Ripe tomatoes
  • Mozerella cheese for garnish on top

  1. Dice onion and celery.
  2. Sautee onion and celery. I did mine in some leftover bacon grease for extra flavor and fat. Right. I know. Set aside and divide into 2 bowls: one for sausage, one for bacon. I'm making a batch of each and we'll vote later on which tastes best.
  3. Cook sausage and put in one bowl of onion & celery.
  4. Cook bacon, chop fine, and put in the second bowl of onion and celery.
  5. To each bowl add: 2 eggs, one package of bread cubes, salt, pepper and tomato guts.
  6. Stir.
  7. Stuff tomatoes.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.
  9. The last five minutes of baking, top each tomato with mozerella cheese & put it back in the oven until the tops are golden brown.
  10. Serve with any yummy summer dish.

Because I am making so much, I am going to freeze half of the batch (without cooking it) for later.
* If you like green pepper, you could dice them and sautee some with the onion and celery. I can't stand the smell of cooked green pepper, but for those of you who are fans of the green stinkers (I don't get it) I think it might be a great addition.

The tomatoes were very good, but I made waaaaay tooooo many and ended up cooking about 7 tomatoes and freezing 20. One bag of cubed bread with one package of sausage would have been sufficient. I would still use all of the celery and onion as it is full of flavor and enhances the flavor.

Also, we added fresh oregano and discussed what adding a little garlic to the onion and celery saute would do.

These are fun because you can customize them with what you have in your refrigerator. But remember, unless you want an entire shelf in your freezer filled, please use only one bag of bread cubes. Ha!

Out To Lunch

Hello my Followers and Friends,

Since I've been away from the blog for so long, I thought you deserved an explanation; and that is that I have been busy, busy, busy! And I'm sorry that I haven't recorded it for you, but I promise to do better as there are some exciting things coming. . .

First up, we're moving to my new husband's family homestead, where we have kept a big garden for the past three years. Right now, we're in the process of renovating the old house and it's tomato harvest season, in addition to school starting on the 30th of August.

The big crops from the garden this year have been red raspberries, green beans, snow peas, gourds and tomatoes. The hot pepper crop is ripening on the vine and will turn into pickled peppers in the next few weeks - but not without some work.

The red raspberry bushes produce 2 crops per years and the vines are loaded for the 2nd picking sometime in September. We freeze them on cookie sheets straight out of the garden and then put them in Ziplock freezer bags after they are frozen so they aren't all squished (technical Pennsylvania term) together into a solid block later when you only want to use a few.

We make raspberry jelly, wine and syrup and retain some for mixing with fresh and canned fruit throughout the winter.

Our green beans are Blue Lake Bush Beans and are generally tough unless you cook the daylights (whatever that is) out of them. We use them for winter soup and stew where having daylights really isn't of any consequence, so they work great. To preserve them, we blanch them and vacuum seal them in Food Saver bags, and voila`, we're done.

The Snow Peas are a cool weather crop, planted early in the spring and harvested in June. Again, they are easy to preserve by blanching them and vacuum sealing them for the freezer.

The tomato crop is ripening and this week I tried freezing them for the first time, because I did not have the time or energy to can them. To freeze them, I simply washed & cored them, put them upside down on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and popped (technical term alert) them into the freezer. 24 hours later, I put the frozen red baseballs in Ziplock bags. I understand that the skins will come right off the frozen tomatoes if you run warm water over them when you are ready to use them. We'll see about that.

Anyway, today, I am making stuffed tomatoes for the first time. It's a family favorite and David's 89 year old mother has loosely translated the recipe to me which I will share in the next posting. I will be using all of those extra tomatoes you have left after you have frozen what you need for the year and given away as many as you can to neighbors, friends and cousins.