Eating While Poor in North Carolina
African American singer, composer, and civil rights activist Nina Simone (1933-2003) was born and raised in Tyron, North Carolina. “Our garden was my parent’s pride” writes Nina Simone. Speaking of her childhood in North Carolina during the Depression, she goes on to say, “most of what I remember from the very earliest part of my life is tied up with food and music. . . .The small garden that kept us alive during the worst of the Depression soon became a big garden, then a huge garden and finally a little farm.” Simon recalls that her family always planted tomatoes in addition to collard greens and string beans.
North Carolina Tomato Pudding
6 fresh very ripe tomatoes or 2 large cans whole tomatoes
10 slices multigrain bread, torn in medium pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter substitute, melted
Fresh parsley, thyme, rosemary
1/4 cup of grated Asiago cheese
1/4 cup of grated Romano cheese
Mix all ingredients together and put in a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Garnish with fresh parsley, thyme, rosemary, 1/4 cup of grated Asiago, and 1/4 cup of grated Romano cheese, perhaps a little salt and pepper too before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for around 30 minutes, or until bubbly.