Hap Townes was the proprietor of a small, blue-collar cafeteria that was a fixture in Nashville, Tennessee, for decades. It was a defining restaurant in Roadfood’s earliest days — our first taste of meat & 3 at its finest. Hap’s stewed tomatoes — his version of a favorite side dish throughout much of the South — are a great example of the extended-time cookery that transforms vegetables from something bland and virtuous into delectable mischief. These are great on the side of country ham.
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, including juice
8 slices white bread, well toasted
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
Place tomatoes and juice in a large saucepan. Tear the toast into about four pieces per slice and add it to the tomatoes. Add butter and sugar. Simmer, uncovered, twenty minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm.