By some combination of wits, charm and outright desperation, I somehow managed to get their recipe for stewed tomatoes; actually, it was a very nice woman working in the gift shop, after hearing me recount my numerous attempts at replicating their recipe, who brought me aside and graciously shared their secret ingredient, which was....leftover biscuits! That actually makes sense if you think for a moment that back in Jefferson's day they wouldn't want to waste anything, especially all of those biscuits that went stale without plastic bags or refridgeration.
For those of you who would like to try this out, it's actually a great recipe to have, especially with the holidays coming up. It's something different, tastes delicious, and uses up all those stale biscuits you've got lying around the kitchen. ;) Please let me know if you try it and we can compare notes.
Jefferson Stewed Tomatoes
- 4 cups of tomatoes quartered (can be fresh or canned)
- 1/2 cup of sugar (I tend to use a little less of the sugar)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 stale biscuits (or scones for my friends in SA and the UK); they have to be stale so they don't become dumplings
- Put the tomatoes and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a simmer, slowly simmer until tomatoes are mushy.
- The biscuits need to be broken into small pieces so that they can thicken the sauce later on.
- Add the biscuits and stir constantly until its well blended.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and there you have it.
One more funny anecdote -- when I got back into the car, Isabella was a little upset at me because she thought that I was leaving Aunt Lubsley (Aunt Lesley) behind; she remembered that we went there with her godmother the last time we were in Charlottesville and was upset because she thought we were leaving without her. We explained that Aunt Lesley did not make this trip with us and was safe at home :).