Roasted Tomatoes

There is a special relationship between a Southerner and a tomato. I remember being in my grandma’s garden when I was a little girl. My chubby, little hand grasped for the ripe, ruby red fruit in front of my eyes. Eating a tomato right off the vine is an experience in itself. There is life in something so fresh, and I believe eating it brings life to you as well. I long for the experiences of eating a rich, juicy tomato in the winter. So I go for the next best thing, San Marzano tomatoes. I roast them at a very low temperature for hours and hours, only enriching their tomato goodness. My sister and me eat these tomatoes on the porch with bread while swinging in the Alabama sunset. We pretend to be Italian and speak in appalling accents, flailing our arms and everything. Buon Appetito!

 

Recipe: Serves 4-6: Adapted from Bon Appetit September 2008 Issue

 1 28 oz. can of San Marzano tomatoes, cut in half lengthways

1 cup of olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1 pinch of sugar

¼ tsp. dried oregano

1 garlic clove, pressed

2 Tbs. parsley, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 250o

In a shallow baking dish, add tomatoes cut face up to the dish. Add the olive oil and seasonings to the tomatoes. Put into the oven for 1 hour, flip the tomato halves over. After another hour, flip the tomatoes again. Bake the tomatoes for one more hour, 3 hours total. After the tomatoes have been baking for 3 hours, add the garlic and parsley. Mix to combine. Top the dish with foil until ready to serve.

 

French Toast

I am a firm believer that if a person does not love breakfast they do not love life. Maybe those people who do agree are morning people. The morning is a magical time of the day. There is stillness, a peacefulness that captivates the dwelling. As I walk across the house, room to room, hoping not to wake anyone else, I make my way directly to the kitchen. I automatically make coffee because my very happiness and sanity depends on it. And then, robe and slippers and coffee and all, I look outside and thank God for the day. After a few moments, I slide back into the kitchen and with as little noise as possible make a beautiful breakfast. One of my favorites is French toast. I remember watching my Paw-Paw make French toast. He made his with a copious amount of sugar, which satisfies any Southerners sweet tooth. The smell of cinnamon and butter cooking together brings me back to the mornings with Grannie and Paw-Paw. They made breakfast a special time. It was in that one moment that we spent time together before the chaos of the day began. So as I stand there, spatula in one hand and coffee in the other, I am reminded of home and thankful for the privilege of passing down this tradition of family.

 

 

Recipe: Serves 6

 12 slices of bread

6 eggs

1 cup of milk

½ cup of white sugar

¼ cup of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 tablespoons of butter

Whisk eggs, milk, sugars, vanilla, and cinnamon together. Heat a nonstick skillet on medium heat and add just a little of the butter. Soak the pieces of bread in the egg mixture, just two at a time. Cook the bread in the skillet just until the bread is crispy on the outsides. Serve immediately.

* I usually make a tester piece of bread, just in case I feel a little more sweet, vanilla-y or cinnamon-y that particular day! It has to meet my standards.