Grandmother’s Creamed Tomatoes

From my younger sister, Grandmother Cox’s recipe for Creamed Tomatoes

  • 1 pint whole tomatoes
  • pinch of baking soda
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3 Tbsp butter

Empty tomatoes into saucepan and crush them. Add pinch of baking soda (prevents milk from curdling) and stir. Put over medium heat. While tomatoes are heating, whisk together in a bowl, flour and milk (or shake in a jar). Add milk mixture to warm tomatoes. Heat until starting to bubble. Stir in butter, salt and pepper. Serve over buttered toast.

These measurements are estimates. My Grandmother didn’t measure and neither do I. In her words when she taught me how to make these, “Sometimes you get them too thick and you have to add milk and sometimes they’re too thin and you have to add flour.”

Steamed Artichokes

Look for artichokes that are hard through, with the petals tight together. It’s OK if the petals have begun to open, but you do not want the base of the artichoke to be soft.

Cut 1″ off the top of the artichoke. This removes the sharp points.

Trim the stalk to within 1″ of the base of the artichoke.

Peel the outer layer from the stalk.

Rinse under cold water, spreading the petals so that the water can run into the flower.

Place base-down in a pot. If necessary, use a coffee cup in the center to keep the artichokes from flopping over.

Add sufficient water to cover the stem.

Add peppercorns to the water.

Cover the tops of the flowers with chopped garlic.

Drizzle olive oil over all.


Bring water to a boil, then simmer until the petals pull freely from the artichoke and are to taste, approximately 45 mins. to an hour.

— Concetta Visioni Clorofilla.