Tomato Gravy

Tomato Gravy

My husband liked sliced tomatoes. When it came his time to serve in World War II, tomatoes were out of season. In those days if something was out of season, it was unavailable to most folks; not like today. Fresh fruit and vegetables are flown in from exotic places such as South America and India. Restaurants, back then, did serve what were called hot house tomatoes. They were grown in greenhouses. Such tomatoes were a pretty red, but flavorless.

My husband went to the leading restaurant in town and ordered a platter of sliced tomatoes. He knew he wouldn't be getting any aboard ship and who was to say he would even make it back home. He ordered a platter of his favorite food – tomatoes.

My husband did make it home from the South Pacific with his taste for tomatoes intact. It never changed. I couldn't make Tomato Gravy until there were enough tomatoes in the garden to keep him in sliced tomatoes.

My Dad liked sliced tomatoes, too. The sugar bowl was always on our table when I was growing up since we all drank hot green tea with sugar. Dad would select the three prettiest red tomato slices from the dish and carefully place them on his plate. Then he did the most terrible thing – he sprinkled sugar over each slice. I tried it once, only once. It was awful. But then Dad had a taste for saltines in his morning hot coffee. To the coffee he would add a little milk, three heaping teaspoons of sugar AND about four crushed saltines. There is no accounting for taste. I drink my coffee black.

TOMATO GRAVY
4 large ripe tomatoes
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup margarine
4 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups cold water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash of black pepper

Carefully peel the tomatoes. Quarter and chop into medium sized pieces. Set aside. Melt margarine in deep skillet over medium heat. Add flour and sliced onions. Stir and cook until smooth and bubbly, but not browned. Add chopped tomatoes, sugar and water. Cook, stirring constantly, for about five minutes, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over buttered mashed potatoes. Now that is good eating from the old days.

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