An Ordinary But Marvelous Dish From My Farmhouse!

Coupled with Salisbury Steak and dressing what a great meal!
Not long ago, my Aunt Marsha on my mother’s side was home to Ohio for a visit. My book hadn’t been out very long and she gladly wanted to see it. Proudly I handed it to her.  She thumbed through it as most of us do, and looked at the many pictures first. What surprised me the most was when she saw the following recipe on page 95.  “Oh my,” she said with delight, “I love macaroni and tomatoes,” then pulled the book close to her bosom for a minute, clearly her mind galloping back through the years to that delightful dish she had long since forgotten. 

Of course, I was especially happy that the recipe was now included—seeing the joy on her face.  I didn’t know, at the time I was selecting it, that it would please so many folks beside myself as they remembered it with such delight.  Maybe you can remember it too. Have you had it before? Someone told me it was “very popular in the 50’s and 60’s, cheap and could feed a crowd!” Maybe, you’ll make it tonight or make a grocery list to get the ingredients and make it soon.  That day at the Ole Wayside Inn, I paired it with some lip smack in’ Salisbury steak (which I hadn’t had in forever) and dressing—absolutely delicious! I’ve included it here along with my remembrance that day; when it sparked the moment I knew I had to include the recipe in my book:

In the farmhouse kitchen of my youth, there were very few dishes that I didn’t like. We kids played hard (and worked too), and always came in with hefty appetites so we ate practically everything.   Recently we were in the Olde Wayside Inn, West Union, Ohio, advertising home-cooked food. Much to my surprise at their buffet they had Macaroni & Tomatoes! I hadn’t had that dish in so long. I knew I wanted to include it in this book and I needed the recipe so I asked, “What do you call this?” The waitress looked at me like I had three heads and replied, “Macaroni and Tomatoes.” Feeling silly, I said, “Of course!” then scooped a big spoonful onto my plate and thanked her.  As I ate, with each bite, I was transported back to the days when I was a happy little farm girl in Mother and Daddy’s care—with the hair that always needed combed and the green toes that needed washed.  Oh, my, those were marvelous moments in time, as is this ordinary, but marvelous dish.

Macaroni & Tomatoes
1 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1 can (14.5 Oz.) diced tomatoes
1-tablespoon bacon grease (may substitute real butter) or add a pat of butter too! 
Salt and Pepper to taste
And a sprinkle of sugar to taste (or two) 
Dust with a dab of flour and stir in to thicken juice

Cook macaroni per box instructions. Drain. Then add bacon grease and/or butter while stirring. Add additional ingredients and cook slightly longer while stirring to infuse flavor.  Serves 4

So Here's the Thing...These old family favorites may have seemed to go out of style since the days of drive-thru! I don't spend everyday in the kitchen cooking as I once did. But truth is, resurrecting one of your favorite dishes even if no one else likes it, is something you'll be so glad you did. And maybe, just maybe, you'll be surprised of others that find your "old times dish" delightfully delicious, too! Take Joy!

Sherry writes a regular weekly column, Take Joy! My Farmhouse Journal for  The Brown County Press Newspaper.   She recently published her book, A Farmhouse Journal: Memories and Recipes and  is available on Amazon,  Barnes and Noble or locally through her. Visit her website to learn more about her book.
Visit my WebsiteMore about me www.sherryphillipsmitchell.con


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