Monday, July 18, 2011

Laura Ingalls Wilder Recipe: Tomatoes with Cream and Sugar


I bought this Little House Cookbook with such high hopes of making all the recipes just like Ma but really, they're not that great. What did I expect, gourmet flaky crusts from a family who was just scraping by with no grocery store for miles? I don't know but have since come to my senses. Here's one that seemed pretty good but kind of disappointed me. Doesn't my glowing review make you want to try it tonight?

Ripe Tomatoes with Sugar and Cream

Red-ripe tomatoes, garden fresh
Parsley, lettuce, or wild sorrel, a few leaves
Medium cream
Sugar in bowl

To peel the skin, insert a fork in the tomato's stem end and plunge the tomato for 3 seconds in boiling water. Or rotate it next to an open candle flame until the entire surface has been seared. Without removing the fork, peel off the skin with a knife. Cut the tomatoes crosswise in slices and arrange on a platter with some greens. At the table, each person adds cream and sugar to taste.

Janet's Notes: In my opinion it's not necessary to peel the tomatoes. So a simplified recipe is this: slice tomatoes and pour cream and sugar on them.

The verdict: Eh. Not bad but the sugar on the tomatoes did not really work for me. I thought it would because tomatoes are naturally kind of sweet, but I prefer salt.

13 comments:

  1. Hm, this book seems more of a collector's item for those who loved the Wilder books as children. I'm with you that there can't be much in the way of gourmet recipes since Ma had so little to work with. I think it would be interesting to read just to get a sense of what people in general ate in that time in history. If nothing else the book is pretty and would be a great conversation piece. Did the author really do some research? How did she come to know these are authentic recipes?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmmm... not sure about the sugar on tomatoes thing either. Orangies Attic

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, at least you tried it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah... it sounds a little weird. I'm wondering the same thing as Fleur, where did the author find these recipes?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think she actually did a ton of research and got as close to the actual recipe as possible but sadly, you're right that they're more for the interest than the food itself. I hate wasting good food on a recipe that I know probably won't taste good.

    ReplyDelete
  6. .... that sounds very interesting. But fun to try out. My daughters were introduced to the Little House series last year. What a fun cookbook!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Not sure about the sugar either, but definitely worth a try:)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome! I love the idea of this cook book, and your honesty!! I think I will stick with just some salt :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've never heard of tomatoes with sugar and cream but that looks so yummy! thanks for sharing! :)


    Notes She Wrote

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks so much for your sweet comment over at Notes She Wrote! My mother in law actually has tomato and peanut butter sandwiches on a regular basis. I can't even think about eating such a thing, but some people must like their tomatoes a bit sweet! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. From the photo, I was guessing this was tomato and mayo, but I couldn't imagine where Ma would have found mayo on the prairie. Cream and sugar, aha! So much more logical.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Maybe if we worked in a garden or a field all day, fed and watered the cow and horses, made the cream from the cow we milked and had just last winter eaten only brown bread and been close to starvation the tomato recipe would taste better...maybe?/probably.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My father often ate sugar on his tomatoes. He was born in the mountains of Virginia and while the rest of us would eat ours with salt, he would slice and sprinkle with sugar and a little splash of milk. He said that was the way they did it in the hills. He also loved stewed tomatoes, the sweetened version, with dumplings.

    ReplyDelete