alskuefhaih
asoiefh

Friday, September 04, 2009

harvest

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It doesn't seem to matter what I give the Earth - discarded knobs and knuckles of bone from our table, cucumber peels, broken eggshells, or used coffee grounds that look and feel like the black sand of Kailua-Kona, even invisible and toxic things, such as fears that swirl through my brain synapses - whatever little deaths I dump into Her lap, She absorbs them.

Some days, understandably, She explodes in a torrent of wind or water, or fire borrowed from the Sun. But reguarly what She returns is purified, through some filigree filter (think mycelium and earthworms) that cleans up what I give thoughtlessly. She gives back another day of Life.
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Postscript: To answer Ann, we have a hard time letting our tomatoes ripen, because we pick them green and Don fries them. Mmm, fried green tomatoes - a little tart, very savory, crisp outside and tender inside.

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Chef Don's Recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes (for Judy and y'all):

Slice green tomatoes about 3/8" thick.
Pour some milk in a shallow dish.
Place flour in a bag (some use cornmeal, or breadcrumbs; we prefer flour).

Cover the bottom of a fry skillet with olive oil and heat over med-high (on the low side of med-high) heat. Add 1 T. butter.

Dip tomato slices in milk, then dredge in flour and place in hot oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If heat is too high, tomatoes will brown but the center will be raw. Tomatoes should cook 5-7 minutes per side. When you see oil bubbling through holes near the edges of the tomatoes, lift the slice to see if it is brown. Flip when brown on first side and brown the second side. Enjoy, my friends, enjoy.


88 comments:

Annie said...

Lovely photos, this brings back so many memories. I used to love harvest time when I lived in my grandparents' house. A lot of work but I've always liked working outdoors. And then we made jams and juices so much that we couldn't consume them all.

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Ann said...

why do you pick your tomatoes green? Make chutney? I once had a cherry tomato plant growing in my balcony. I thought there was no fruits, so I pulled it out. Then I found it ladened with marble sized tomaotes. My friend made chutney out of it.

Celeste Maia said...

You know, I never tried fried green tomatoes, I will have to do it. Tomatoes from the garden are picked in the last possible moment, deep red, perfumed, but hard to the touch.
I love your photos, that chair with the tomatoes is wonderful.

Susan said...

You are so right, Ruthie, our Mother just keeps taking our unwanted stuff and turning it into richness that gives us back delicious things to eat. Why do some of us keep treating her so badly?

I made myself some fried green tomatoes last evening. One reason is because the darned things have stopped ripening with all this cool weather we're having!

*jean* said...

oo we had FGT's at a fancy restaurant for our anniversary...with a big lovely piece of halibut....drool...

amuse me said...

Lovely pictures. We are also having great fun harvesting from our little patch of garden. We are enjoying pesto, salsa, stuffed zucchini at the moment! :) M

Kat said...

Wonderful photos. We too love fried green tomatoes. My cousin was telling me the way his Italian ex used to make them in the oven, first dipping them into egg then Italian breadcrumbs. I have yet to try it but he swears by it.
Thanks for sharing.

Pat said...

I absolutely LOVE your pictures, and that old blue chair is to die for! We eat fried green tomatoes every time we travel down south. I like them!

ds said...

Yummy photos and words, Ruth!

Amy said...

What a wonderful bounty you receive!

At one of our favorite restaurants in Atlanta, Dennis and I sampled a Fried Green Tomato appetizer that was roll-your-eyes-to-the-back-of-your-head good. The FGTs were topped with a layer of thinly sliced smoked ham, topped with a sunny-side up quail egg. There was also a celery root slaw (just looked it up on the menu), but I don't remember how that was incorporated. Amazing flavors!

Dakota Bear said...

Its been awhile since I have eaten fried green tomatoes. I had two beautiful tomato plants and tomatoes until the blight that is going on attacked them, so no fresh tomatoes unless I find them at the farmers market.

I love the old blue chair.

caroldiane said...

I love your photos too - I remember when you wrote about that classic blue chair - now it is a lovely backdrop to your bountiful harvest. Next year, I swear, I am planting a garden no matter where I am living (even if it is two pots on the balcony!)

Loring Wirbel said...

Ruth, more prose-poetry please! Those two paragraphs are stunning, and some would argue that the postscript to Ann belongs there, like an absurdist exclamation point.

Judy said...

Ruth, could you please post your recipe for fried green tomamots?
We have many green one this year... And I'm not real creative in the kitchen.!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such a lovely example of late summer goodness. Wishing you a wonderful holiday weekend!

Hildegarde said...

Ha, I like your choise of framing and the perspective : great job ! and your words about composting.

kenju said...

I love the old blue chair.

When making fried green tomatoes, I prefer cornmeal, but I'm sure they are good with flour, too.

Loring Wirbel said...

Warning, y'all: Don's recipe includes no garlic or hot peppers. Garlic and hot peppers should be liberally added to everything. Even dessert.

CottageGirl said...

Deep breath ...

Sigh..

Lazy last days of summer ... so tasty and gently cherished ... just like the last of the fresh tomatoes ...

Eyes closed (Ok ... I have to squint to write this!)

Savoring.

Aaaahhhh.

Thanks for the mini-retreat into your backyard!

PurestGreen said...

There is something about the colour blue that your camera loves. All the tones just seem to glow from your photos. Dreamy.

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Ruth said...

Annie, you are so lucky. I have been thinking it would be great if grandparents would work in school programs to teach children to raise and preserve food. Plant biology could be taught at the same time. I think children would be interested in eating healthy food if they helped raise it.

Ruth said...

Ann, hope you saw my postscript to you. I have never tried chutney, but I've heard people make it from green tomatoes. Marble sized tomatoes? We have "grape" tomatoes in our market, maybe a wee bit larger. I love them.

Ruth said...

Celeste, you have eaten some fine, delightful food served in the most elegant and homey settings. I think you could create a beautiful harvest atmosphere with some fried green tomatoes on the side of a nice grilled supper.

Ruth said...

Dear Susie, I think it is unconsciousness, not connecting with what supports our life. For a while I was saying a prayer of thanks before eating, to those who grew the food. I forgot. Even forgetting is a way of treating her badly, and all the farmers who work hard to raise our food. I hope you're enjoying Labor Day weekend, Susie.

Ruth said...

Jean, now a few of you have commented that they ate FGT's in a restaurant. How cool that this homey, Southern traditional dish is in restaurants.

Ruth said...

Marion, ohhh pestoooo. We didn't stuff any zucchini, that's a great idea. I wish I had more time/energy to focus on cooking in the summer. I feel so much of our herbs went to seed. :(

Ruth said...

Kat, I saw several oven fried recipes online too. There is a flavor in FGT's like nothing else I've ever tasted, you should try them. They have a sourness that is just wonderful.

Ruth said...

Pat, why wait for the South?

Ruth said...

Amy! Hello. :)

I must say, that does seem to be a roll your eyes back kind of concoction, I can totally imagine all those flavors melding. Ahhhhh. Too bad Don doesn't have Nicholas' quail any more! :( But we do get some tiny chicken eggs about twice the size of quail eggs that could work. And the shells are green.

Don't you love the wedding pics of Nicholas holding the egg basket??

Annie said...

PS. I don't know if you like these things but there's a challenge for you in my blog. I'd just like to see your choices. :-)

Judy said...

THANKS so much for recipe!

Ruth said...

Dakota Bear, I'm sorry about your tomato blight. It's frightening actually. I don't know if it has hit here locally or not, haven't heard.

The blue chair that Don found at a yard sale for almost nothing is quite expensive in the antique/vintage market. I guess folks are going crazy for old things of the right ilk. We like it in the garden, it seems just right there.

Ruth said...

DS, I skipped you, sorry. :) Thank you.

Oliag said...

Hi Ruth!

Love, love, love those photos...your photography is what first attracted me to your blog...I just happened to write a comment on another blog about how the color blue makes food so beautiful...I need to buy more blue dishes:)

I don't know why I haven't tried cooking FGT...they incorporate my favorite tastes..tart and savory and crisp. My father used to make what he called fried tomatoes using ripe tomatoes, cracker crumbs,...and milk!...it ended up like creamed tomatoes and we ate it on buttered toast...very yummy but why he called it fried tomatoes I'll never know. xo

Ruth said...

Caroldiane, when it comes to gardening I am lazy. It is a shame because in my mind I am an incredible gardener. I am so many things in my ideal self. Silly. So I am lucky to have this husband who gets great pleasure from growing things, harvesting and even cooking them up. If I had my true wish it would be not to work in the summer and see if I might become my ideal gardening-cooking self. Well, after all, my husband does not work in the summer, so there you go. Anyway, yes, I think even growing a few things in pots would be wonderful, and probably about my speed.

Bella Rum said...

I love that first photo and I love fried green tomatoes. We dip ours in egg first, than flour. I'm going to try the milk.

photowannabe said...

Ummmmm Your pictures make my mouth water. I love the composition of the tomatoes on the stool. Reallygood stuff. I may have to give the recipe a try.

Vagabonde said...

Since our doctors told us we should try to limit our fried foods I don’t do much frying but living in Georgia it is very easy to get good green fried tomatoes in many country restaurants around us. If AMY read this, I would love to know which restaurant she visited in Atlanta that she liked so much – I’d drive there soon.
I like your new heading and your figs look like those that are covering our fig tree right now. I already made 20 jars of fig jam and I need to make more jam this afternoon. If you and all your readers were close by I’d give y’all some.

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Great sentiments Ruth!
And great looking produce.
Ever since I saw the Movie Fried green tomatoes I have always wanted to try them!

20th Century Woman said...

What a beautiful blog. I just found it.

Green tomatoes are in my future. Here in the Pacific Northwest tomatoes are hard to grow. The weather is too cool. This summer we all have a good crop, but there will be many green ones left now that the weather has changed and the sun is behind clouds a lot of the time. I'm going to try your recipe.

California Girl said...

farmers and home gardeners in New England have been dealing with tomato blight all summer. The only ones turning out perfect are protected by covers. Too much rain.

gemma said...

Your pictures speak for themselves. I want to leave a raving comment on how much I love these and the recipe,they speak to my heart, but there's nothing left to be said.Thank you!

Arti said...

I really liked the movie, but this is my first time seeing a recipe for fried green tomatoes. Thanks ... and love the photos. I'm world away from the world of fried green tomatoes. That's why I enjoy coming to your blog and be transported to your world! But may I ask: do they grow to be green or picked when they're green? Cause I don't think I've seen any green tomatoes here.

Ruth said...

Loring, bless you for knowing this is a poem. :) It was in poem form first, but when Don made me take a bunch of stuff out about unmentionables that go into the earth, when I revised it, it came up in prose form.

As for you and your spicy hot taste, you go!

Ruth said...

Judy, if you try the FGT recipe, please let me know if you like them.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Pamela! So far so good. I wish you the same. (But no more reading of scary books, at night anyway.)

Ruth said...

Oh hello, Hildegarde, it's been so long. Thank you.

I would like everyone to go see your painting.

Ruth said...

Kenju, we got to the point that we didn't want anything taking away from the texture and flavor of the tomato. Just a very thin layer of flower is how we like it.

Ruth said...

Hey Loring, Don was just reading the seed catalog for types of garlic cloves to plant. I had no idea there were gradations of heat! There is no end to my ignorance.

Ruth said...

CottageGirl, you're so cute.

That's how I feel too this weekend, except my eyes are wide open and I'm outside outside outside (it's still dark out or I'd be outside now). The weather is perfect, the sun is low and glowy (duh, isn't the sun always glowy?), the plants are overflowing their little beds. It's September!

Ruth said...

Thank you, PurestGreen, I think blue follows me around.

And I do like your Green Man today.

Ruth said...

Oliag! Hello.

Oliag, if I could post non-stop photos or videos of the beauty around us here I would. It makes me very happy that you feel something of it through my images. You know my heart is in this place, this place that cares for us so well.

Your father's "fried" tomatoes sound like what my mom used to make for Dad, with stale bread. It's a homey thing to eat.

Ruth said...

Bella Rum, I think I would like it with the egg too, I'm trying to remember if we've tried it that way.

Ruth said...

Sue, if I'd posted a photo of Don's FGT's, then you would really have been drooling.

Ruth said...

Vagabonde, I have written Amy (who is my niece) and asked for the restaurant. I will let you know when she tells me.

I'm glad you like the heading. I would love to have a fig tree. I had fresh figs the first time far into adulthood and was surprised at how wonderful they are. Fig Newtons are not a good representation of figs! I think my readers and I would love to try your fig jam!

Ruth said...

Cupcakes, you are on an opposite season, but you might have tomatoes even now?

Jill of All Trades said...

Ummmm, fried green tomatoes. Love them. Love the pics too.

shoreacres said...

Fried green tomatoes - yes, of course.

But does no one see that corn? From the moment I clicked onto your page, that's all I could see.
Fresh sweet corn, so fresh the silk clings weblike to fingers, sink faucets, wandering animals...

It made me think of childhood tag in the cornfields, and nights when we'd hop the ditches under a full moon and head out into the silence to listen to the corn grow. I wonder if Dylan Thomas knew you truly can hear the force that drives "our green age"?

shoreacres said...

Re: your favorite word. You might enjoy a look at Bloglily's post on Shakespeare's All's Well that Ends Well, my comment (#9) and her response. Words live and change, just as people do. Very interesting.

You can find the discussion here:
http://bloglily.com/2009/08/14/alls-well/

Oh said...

What took me so long to get back here? (I must maximize my list and efficiency in getting around blogworld!) But the fact is, your pictures are just...so...radiant. Each one causes a pleasant sharp intake of breath. I love it here. Real. Real beauty. Complex but everything seems...right. Ordered, yet natural.
(sigh)

lesleyanne said...

i just love that blue chair as a backdrop, or more as a pedestal in this case. those green tomatoes are huge!! i miss papa's FGT, they are so delicious. Brian and i were just talking today about how we can't wait to have our own house, so we can start a garden. we will definitely have tomatoes! yummy. what a perfect harvest!

Sandy said...

About time I tried a fried green tomato. I am going to put that on my list to do for the month of September.

rauf said...

oh, coffee please, black , no sugar, i am not diabetic but i like without Sugar Ruth. Thank you

it was a movie 'Fried green Tomatoes' Mary Stewart Masterson, Kathy Bates. Very well made. i loved it.

Your farm gets plenty of water to drink Ruth, so you need not worry much and it gets plenty of rest. Things are different in a tropicl country like India, no rest for the earth.

What if the earth gets drunk ?

Earth gets frozen then warms up regenerates. The blue chair looks 4.7 billion years old too. oh how i love to see these pictures in my old monitor Ruth, this one is too bright with minimum brightness and its hurting my eyes.

freefalling said...

I've never ever had them.
Definitely something to try this summer.
Vince parents (Italian) do a green preserved tomato thing packed in olive oil - very yum on crusty bread.

(i like your chair)

Ruth said...

Hello and welcome, 20th Century Woman!

FGT's are a good way to use up green tomatoes at the end of the season. Don and I have the opposite problem at the front end of the season, not letting them ripen because we love them as FGT's. It has been very cool here too, and many crops were late.

I didn't find a blog for you. I think your name would make a nice blog name.

Ruth said...

California Girl, oh dear, more blight. I heard that you have to dispose of blighted tomatoes properly - I think just dump them, right? No burning or anything.

There is only so much we can do to raise food. The rest is up to nature, obviously. We get a little frustrated if something doesn't come up, but I can't imagine being a farmer of acres and acres dealing with crop disappointment.

Ruth said...

That'll do, Gemma, that'll do. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Arti, as far as I know, there are not any green tomato varieties. You pick them green.

Now you have me wondering if you eat Chinese dishes at home?

Ruth said...

Thank you, Jill. Funny, this post did not start out to be about FGT's at all. I added the postscript, and then the recipe after the FGT conversation started.

Ruth said...

Linda, I wondered about it myself. You are lucky you had that as a kid. I didn't grow up around farms, even though I lived in a small town surrounded by them. Now I see a corn field under a moon through the lens of M Night Shyamalan, and I am frightened.

Now I am off to Bloglily's and guess what, I'm already excited because "Ashland" is in the first sentence. I lived in Ashland one semester. Talk about doing something other than academics . . .

Ruth said...

Thanks for that sigh, Oh. Thanks for coming back.

Ruth said...

Wesrey, I know how hard it is for you to wait for your own house with a yard. And at this apartment you don't have a balcony, so no potted plants either. Remember when you watered your old housemate's plants?

Ruth said...

Sandy, once you settle back down in your routine this fall, you will have quite a list of things to do, I'm guessing.

Ruth said...

These pictures are bright, rauf, your poor eyes. I think the streets of Chennai must be very bright too, yet you don't wear shades. I wonder if it's like not wearing earplugs to a loud concert, maybe you damaged your eyes in the bright sunlight.

I think I'd like to see Fried Green Tomatoes again because it didn't mean much to me the first time I saw it, when it came out. It was a sad story, I remember that. And I love Jessica Tandy.

Ruth said...

Oh hello, Letty. I just met a young woman at a wedding who is moving to Australia to be with her Greek-Australian-almost-fiance. She is a traveler, I don't think she will settle down for some years. I had a great time talking with her, and she is going to Chennai first for a few months. I wish I could pack myself into her suitcase and visit you and rauf.

João said...

fried green tomato, if I) had a band I will write a song about it...oh, and chicken burritos and guacamole - some words are just so nice, you feel like singing them...

Bob Johnson said...

I love that chair, it was quite a find.

Ginnie said...

Amy told me last Saturday about your FGTs, Ruth, and that she had commented. BTW, I loved that movie years ago with Jessica Tandy. A keeper. For having lived in the South all these years, you'd think I'd have eaten hundreds of FGTs, but I haven't. I'll remember this recipe because there's no reason I can't make them for myself (anywhere in the world)...if I can just find some green tomatoes! :)

Ruth said...

João, you know, that is a great name for a band or a song.

I like saying "Adirondack."

Ruth said...

Bob, I love the chair too, can you tell?

Ruth said...

This is true, Boots, anywhere. :)

Jeanie said...

Harvest. The farm markets are filled to the brims. Love the veggies on the blue chair!

Anna said...

harvest something I always miss, oh well, may be one day. Anna :)

Anna said...

Ruth I clicked too soon, these are nice pictures. I like the blue on them, figure I got blue muskoka chairs, lol. Anna :)

Ruth said...

Hi, Jeanie! It's a wonderful month.

Ruth said...

Anna, oh! We call them Adirondacks. I never knew the word Muskoka and looked it up.