Grandmother’s Fried Tomatoes with Gravy (as written in “At Grandmother’s Table,” edited by Ellen Perry Berkeley)
The recipe and story behind it are written by my aunt, Jane Jacobs. The recipe has been in our family since the 1840’s. It is served as the main course of the meal. Note that fully ripened tomatoes are used.
6 bacon strips, or 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 fully ripened tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 ½ to 2 cups milk
Fry the bacon, then remove it from the pan and set it aside. (If you’re using vegetable oil, omit the bacon and heat the oil now)
Slice the tomatoes thick and dredge each slice in salted flour.
Fry each slice in the fat or oil into the flour is nicely browned. The slices will break up somewhat, and small bits of tomatoes and flour will collect in the pan.
Place the fried slices in a serving bowl, straining the fat and juice from the bowl back into the pan. When all the tomatoes are fried and in the serving bowl, add flour to the hot pan, stirring constantly to blend the flour with the fat, juice, and residual bits of tomatoes. Then, still stirring, gradually add milk to make a thick (but not stiff) gravy. Pour the gravy over the tomatoes in the serving bowl. If you’re using bacon, pile the crisp bacon on the top.
This recipe serves 2 people.
Submitted by Jane Henderson