(078: Green tomatoes. Photo © 2009 by Robin)
I was at Hilgert’s Farm Market buying some fresh veggies when one of the women who works in the market asked if there was anyone who knew how to make fried green tomatoes. I told her I did and she directed me towards another customer, a young woman, who was asking how to make them.
I know there are various ways of making fried green tomatoes, from the very simple to the gourmet. There seem to be regional differences as well. Some are made with breadcrumbs, some are made with cornmeal, and the southern variety are usually fried with some bacon grease to give them the extra flavor. Some folks, before dredging the slices, dip their tomatoes in beaten egg, some in buttermilk, and some dredge them “dry.”
I gave the young woman my mother’s recipe which is one of the simplest ways I know how to make fried green tomatoes. It’s also my favorite. I don’t make them often because they can be a mess to make due to all that hot oil spattering around.
Mom’s fried tomatoes were not always fried green tomatoes. She frequently made them with not-quite-ripe red tomatoes. From my own experience I’ve found those work better with Mom’s recipe since a little juice on the tomato slices helps the coating to stick. The tomatoes are sliced about a quarter inch thick, coated in flour, salt and pepper, and then fried in about a 1/4 inch of hot oil in a skillet until they are golden brown (or as brown as you like them). Flipping the slices in the hot oil is the messy part (for me). Once they’re browned, the fried tomatoes are placed on a paper towel to sop up some of the oil then served hot/warm with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.
Simple, delicious, and they always remind me of summer and the wonderful flavor of fresh tomatoes (especially Jersey tomatoes!).
If you’re interested in the history of fried green tomatoes, I found this blog post to be helpful.
(077: Drifting in the clouds. Photo © 2009 by Robin)
See, if you can, eternity in the hour that passes.
~ Arabian proverb
My blogs posts are probably going to consist of little more than photos soon. It’s a busy time of year for me here in the Bogs. On top of the usual things that keep me busy throughout the day, I’m sorting through photos, working in the garden when the weather permits, and taking advantage of shopping locally by preserving the summer harvest through canning and freezing.
In the meantime, enjoy the photos.
(076: Floating in silky water. Photo © 2009 by Robin)
Time is but a stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it, but when I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away but eternity remains.
~ Henry David Thoreau
The music. Because it’s been a while.
(075: Hiding in the asparagus bed. Photo © 2009 by Robin)
In one’s garden a person may be one’s own artist without apology or explanation. Here is one spot where each may experience the ‘romance of possibility.’
~ Louise Beebe Wilder
The garden has been coming along well. The weeds have been thriving and flowering. Some sort of squash has volunteered to come up on its own. I suspect it’s the hubbard, but I’m not sure yet.
I’m almost finished weeding the aparagus bed. Seems like I’ve been working on it forever and whenever I think I’m almost finished, I find that I’m not. Most of the weeds in the above photo are no longer hiding in the asparagus bed. Sitting under the asparagus ferns is one of my favorite places to be lately. I have my own little secret garden in there, weeds and all. As we established last year, my garden has pretty weeds with lots of flowers, making it a beautiful place to sit and ponder life, the universe, and everything.
(Looking through the asparagus ferns. Photo © 2009 by Robin)
Yesterday I yanked out the lettuce and bok choy. They had bolted. (I wish I could draw cartoons. The visual I’m getting from that last sentence is funny — lettuce and bok choy bolting/escaping from the garden because the gardener is doing a terrible job of keeping up with the weeds.) The bok choy never really grew the way I thought it should. I don’t know if it has something to do with the variety I planted or my laziness when it came to thinning it out. I suspect it’s the latter. I’m going to plant more lettuces and bok choy in the fall, along with some swiss chard. I’m also going to try not to be so lazy.
(V in Sunset. Photo © 2009 by Robin)
(074: Spinning in circles. Photo © 2009 by Robin)
Have you ever been bitten by a deer fly?
They are nasty little creatures. The female deer fly feeds on blood. She lands on a spot that you can’t reach, makes a painful little incision, and then laps up your blood.
The deer fly bite, for me, is much worse than a mosquito bite. I get giant, painful, itchy welts and hives from them. Therefore, I do not like the deer fly, and although I try to have compassion for all living things, when I saw the deer fly which appears in the center of the above photo lying on its back and spinning like crazy to upright itself, I decided to let nature take its course. If the fly figured it out, it would live. If not, it would die.
I don’t know if the fly managed to upright itself and live or if it died. I left it spinning in circles.
(073: Feels like cotton. Photo © 2009 by Robin)
I’ve seen all sorts of things sold at the various summer festivals held around here and most of those things sort of fit in with the festival somehow. I haven’t yet figured out how sheets (even if they feel like Egyptian cotton) fit in at an Italian Festival. It seemed more flea market than festival to me. But hey, a guy’s gotta earn a living somehow. With the high unemployment rate here in Ohio, and the loss of all those manufacturing jobs, sales isn’t a bad way to go.
I wonder if he sold any sheets that day?
M and I went to Blossom last night. We had hoped some of our friends might go with us, but they wimped out. That might be unfair. I’m sure they had other things they needed to do since in some cases they’re just in town for the weekend. Still, I’m sorry they didn’t make it. The weather, which had been stormy throughout most of the day, turned out to be lovely. We hit a few rain squalls on our way to Blossom but once there it pretty much cleared up. I can prove it:
There were not the usual large number of people there. Saturday nights at Blossom are pretty well attended, especially on the lawn. I’m sure the off and on rain storms throughout the day played a role in that.
M and I had a lovely time. We set up our blankets (we layered since the ground was wet) and picnicked on the lawn. By the time we finished eating our dinner the music had started so we sat back and just enjoyed the music and what turned out to be a beautiful evening.
(The Blossom cup holder.)
Last night’s concert included George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. In a letter to a friend, Gershwin wrote about it:
I heard it as a musical kaleidoscope of America, and of our vast melting pot, of our national pep, of our blues, our metropolitan madness.
I’ve never been a fan of Rhapsody in Blue. I didn’t expect to enjoy it much. Perhaps I never really listened to it before. Or perhaps it was the way the Cleveland Orchestra performed it, playing the original jazz band version. Whatever the case, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The pianist, Inon Barnatan, was fantastic. Bravo!
Some of the other music the orchestra performed included Richard Rodgers Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Lady, Cole Porter’s Night and Day, and Gershwin’s Final Ballet Sequence from Shall We Dance.
Because the night was so nice we rode home with the top down on the convertible, going through town(s) rather than taking the highway. (Riding in the convertible at high speeds is brutal.) I especially like the back roads at night and looking up at the stars as we speed along.
All in all, it was a great evening.