Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tomato Bread Pudding


My mother didn't use cookbooks.  I don't remember ever seeing one anywhere near her kitchen.  She did have a three-ring binder that contained a few handwritten recipes.  There were also 3 x 5 cards.  Mother seemed to cook mostly from memory and to taste.  Her fried chicken was the best I've ever had.  It was always accompanied by mashed potatoes and a green vegetable.  Her "roast" beef was actually boiled beef and was not the best!!  It was almost always accompanied by boiled potatoes (in the same pot), horseradish sauce and a green vegetable.  Actually, mother liked green on a plate so almost every meal had a green vegetable.  It was unusual that we had a new dish on the table.

The first time tomato bread pudding appeared, I wasn't old enough for my feet to touch the floor while sitting at the dinner table.  I was old enough to recall the stir it caused among us sisters!!  We had no intention of going further than the obligatory "one bite" rule!!  Surprisingly, it was a hit.

I've not had the dish in more decades than I'd like to admit.  When I was organizing (and I use that word loosely) a photo drawer (it's a big drawer), I came across an old photo of my family (including my dear grandmother) sitting around the kitchen table.  My father has on a white shirt and tie.  Mother and Nanny have on earrings.  It isn't a holiday--we'd be in the dining room for that dinner.  I can't see what food is on the table but the photo brought tomato bread pudding to mind.  I began a search for a recipe. I found some but most had eggs and/or cheese and didn't sound like mother's.  Her's was meant to be a side dish I'm sure.  I'm also sure (but don't know why) she used stewed tomatoes.  In fact, I think she called the dish "stewed tomato pudding".  I Googled "stewed tomatoes" and up popped a canned variety.  I found them on the grocery shelf and went to work on making the dish.  This recipe is from my first attempt and delicious.  We had them as a side dish to pork chops.


Tomato Bread Pudding


2 14.5-ounce cans of stewed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup brown (light or dark) brown sugar, packed
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Salt to taste
1/2 stick butter
8 slices of firm bread cut into 1-inch cubes
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

1.  In a large saucepan, combine the tomatoes, bay leaf, brown sugar, pepper and salt.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for five minutes.  Remove the bay leaf.
2.  Preheat the oven to 350 .  Place the butter into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish and put into the heating oven to melt.  Add the bread and parsley and toss with the butter to evenly coat.  Pour the tomato mixture evenly over the bread but do not stir.
3.  Bake the dish for 30 minutes or until the top is puffed and golden brown.  Serve hot.

ENJOY!

28 comments:

  1. I have never heard of this..My husband is a bread pudding lover..i will show him:)

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  2. Its funny how we can so easily be reminded of dishes from our childhood from a smell, a taste or a photograph. These are the best kind of dishes.

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  3. These kind of recipes trigger such a rush of memories and emotions. AND, it sounds delicious!! Have a great day, Bonnie. blessings ~ tanna

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  4. I love digging into our recipe memory boxes! I'm sure I could go for this. I can picture this as a great Lenten meal at my house. My mother also taught me to add color and texture to a plate. She really wasn't the best of cooks . . . pretty hard with a family of seven. But she taught me many great kitchen lessons.

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  5. omg I must make this, it looks so tasty!

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  6. i was thinking sweet pudding and no no, but after reading this i would love this... would be easy to do and i love bread and tomatoes so what's not to love

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  7. I've never heard of this, but it sounds pretty great! And, I always thought my mother's fried chicken was the best. lol! Those were the days on the farm, when she or dad would go out and slaughter and dress the chicken and then mom fried it for Sunday dinner for a crowd around the dining table. Glad you did some "organizing," my friend---thanks for the recipe!

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  8. I've never heard of this, either. It sounds kind of interesting.

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  9. I have never heard of such a dish. The brown sugar would make it really yummy. I bet you smelled the memories...

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  10. This sounds delicious , I love puddings!

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  11. I grew up with something similar to that --but we didn't call it Tomato Bread Pudding... It was just fancy Stewed Tomatoes... SO good!!!!!

    George and I mix rice with a can of stewed tomatoes sometimes and even that is good... I guess I just like Stewed Tomatoes. I do remember Mom's recipe having bread in it --and it was sweet (with brown sugar I think)... SO--it was very similar to yours. YUM... Oh the memories... I love that stuff.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  12. This sounds like a very tasty dish! How fun that you're recreating it from memory-enjoy:@)

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  13. Good for you to create it from memory--and have it be delicious. You must have your mother's talent. it looks good and I may try it. I tend to buy chopped fine tomatoes in a can rather than stewed tomatoes, probably something from my childhood mom made I didn't like. It also reminds me of a red "shirt dress" I had in college that friends called my "stewed tomato dress." I actually wore it on the gardener and my first official date. funny the things that come to our mind, such as you thinking of this dish just by seeing an old photo of family meal time (and doesn't that have a nice ring to it--family meal?)

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  15. My mom doesn't use recipes either, and it's so frustrating to get her to write one down for me because she doesn't measure anything either. :) This looks good and sounds like it would taste like my mom's stewed tomatoes. She always thickens them with chunks of white bread.

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  17. you think you've seen it all and then something so simple but so genius comes along... what an EXCELLENT idea... well done mum... I am most definitely making this x

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  18. I can't wait to try this tomato pudding. It seems like a good old fashioned recipe that when you serve it to people they rave about it. When I was little my mom would heat up a couple of cans of stewed tomatoes and we would eat them in a bowl as a side dish to our meal.

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  19. This sounds sooo awesome..I will ck my pantry to see if I have canned tomatoes..would love to make this tonight. Ummm

    I noticed in my comments that you had a couple comments that were removed. Just wanted u to know that I welcome ALL opinions on anything I post..including political ones. I respect your opinions and beliefs and would be happy to have you leave another comment.
    xoxo bj

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  20. Thanks, dear heart, for coming by and leaving your comment. I respect your take on all this...
    I think one reason everyone got upset about the tour cancellations is that the White House belongs to WE, THE PEOPLE...and we think it unfair to cancel the tours. And, I feel if WE don't stand up for what we feel is right, WHO WILL? I, too, WANT to move on...it's just hard when there's one thing after another that is hurting the country...and the people.
    ANYway, thanks for respecting my points of view...
    Now, if you will excuse me, I am on my way to the groc. store for ingredients for your awesome Tomato dish....:)) and when I post about it, I'll sure tell everyone where I got the recipe. :))
    xo bj

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  21. My mom kept recipes the same way, Bonnie. I have boxes of handwritten 3x5 cards with her favorites written on them. This old fashioned dish looks delicious.

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  22. My ex's mom made one of these that I've been meaning to post. An old southern recipe that is just too good. Her's was a bit different but all that wonderful butter made it as much a dessert as a side dish for a meal. I love it and haven't made it in ages. I must try your version now.

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  23. My mother used to make something similar but just called it stewed tomatoes...thanks for the memories.

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  24. Now this is definitely worth a try. It sounds unusual and delicious. Foods that foster memory are such a delight. Thanks for sharing your memories with us. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

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  25. I've never had anything like this but it sounds wonderful! It kind of reminds me of how tomato bruschetta would taste if it were made in one dish. I'd love to try it!

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  26. This sounds so good. I hope I can remember it when we have fresh tomatoes!

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