Saturday, 17 March 2012

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato: Stuffed Tomatoes

My mother was always a huge fan of the musical.   Growing up, Mom and Dad often took us to the theatre, symphony and ballet (actually, she and I went to the ballet while Dad took Davie to see the Leafs).  Consequently I, too, have a deep love for musicals.  I watch them on television every chance I get, and Carlo and I take the kids to the theatre and symphony whenever our busy lives permit. 

If I had to pick an all-time favourite musical it would have to be Les Miz (I know, it sounds so cliche, but it's true!), and I have been to see it at least 4 times - not to mention watching the 25th anniversary special that keeps appearing on PBS!

So...going back to my childhood - Mom would go around the house singing songs from the classics - the clips that follow are a sampling of Mom's and my favourites...she would sing or hum them as she went about her business...they always brightened her mood and mine. 

Nowadays, I sing them as I putter around our home - the only difference being that I am tone deaf and drive the kids a little nuts when I try to sing.  No worries, 25 years from now they will look back on these days with warm fuzzy memories. 

There's Singing in The Rain:

Cats, The Musical:

Fiddler on the Roof:


They say that music is one of the last things to be lost to an Alzheimer's patient.  I would agree.  Mom still taps her feet and smiles a bright smile when she hears music.  When I visit, I always pull out the old songs she used to sing to me and then to my girls.  Now I sing them to her, and she smiles, occasionally remembering the words to fill in a blank:

Mairzy Doats:

Nobody Loves Me:

I love you a bushel and a peck :

Wow!  Looking for these songs has transported me back to a happy, simple time about 35 years ago, snuggling up with my mother on my parents' bed on a Sunday afternoon, covered by her favourite, tattered blue, purple and red mohair throw (boy was it itchy, but she loved it, and it was a small price to pay for a delicious cuddle with my mama), watching old musicals on TV.  Mom had a few mohair throws, and Sara inherited one, which she keeps on her bed (oy - it itches me just to fold and lay it on top when I change the sheets!!!).

My parents had one just like this!!

I thought I would share these special memories and songs with you because they have become part of who I am - I sing silly ditties that apply to the dish I am preparing.  In this case, I sing "you say tomato and I say tomato - let's call the whole thing off!".  What is the dish, you may ask?  Stuffed tomatoes!  I think I followed a recipe for them at one time, but now I just wing it!  I hope you enjoy making these, and don't forget to sing (ok - maybe just hum) the song while you're doing it!

Until next time,  I wish you a wonderful day filled with family, fun, friends and fantastic food!  B'Tayavon & Buon Appetito!

Naomi's Sumptuous Stuffed Tomatoes

  • 4 firm tomatoes - hollowed, reserve pulp! (I prefer plum or hot house)
  • ½ C bread crumbs
  • ¼ C melted margarine
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • 1 tsp parsley

  • preheat oven to 350 °
  • slice top off each tomato, close to edge
  • gently scoop pulp so tomato is hollow
  • cut around stem of tomato, adding cuttings to pulp
  • finely chop pulp and tops (approx 4 pulses on mini chopper - do not liquefy)
  • combine with remaining ingredients - mixture should be firm enough to hold it's form, not sticky.  If it is sticky, add more bread crumbs until you achieve a workable consistency
  • place tomatoes in muffin pan to hold them upright
  • stuff each tomato with mixture
  • bake for 20 minutes or until filling is golden brown and slightly crispy