I found another treasure at the Farmers Market last Saturday. It was all for me alone, and I saved it for a special night.
Every summer, I look for garden tomatoes. You won’t catch me buying the mushy, no-flavor excuses for tomatoes at the grocery store, I want the real thing. The problem is, these plants have become so hybridized, that I find it difficult to locate a ripe tomato with real taste.
Last Saturday, I bought a mixed basket. The ripe tomatoes were not good so I gave them away to someone less picky. However, there were also two green tomatoes-treasure! I dream about fried green tomatoes, my mouth waters at the thought. I am the only one in my family that likes these, so I get to be as greedy as I like when they are in season.
I waited for a night when Jim was closing the restaurant and wouldn’t be home for dinner. I fed the kids, got everyone bathed, and into bed a little early. When the house was quiet, I got started. First I cut the slices very thin so that they would cook though and release more flavor, while becoming soft to bite. I like a crispy coating so I dredge the slices in flour, egg wash, and then cornmeal. My Creole grandmother taught me the value of bacon drippings at an early age, so I always have some stored in the refrigerator. I heated a hearty spoonful complete with the bottom of the pan “crispies” for frying. The tomatoes sizzled when they hit the grease and didn’t take long to sear on both sides. I lifted them out, piping hot, and placed them on a good china plate; adding a sprinkling of salt. I poured out mother-in-law sweet tea (she taught me to brew and sugar southern-style), and I was ready
I like atmosphere when I am enjoying particularly good food; this particular night meant watching a movie. Because fried green tomatoes are such a southern dish, the movie had to balance. Something like Gangs of New York or How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days wasn’t the right “theme”. Ignoring the obvious (Fannie Flagg), I went straight to one of my current favorites, “A Love Song for Bobby Long”. I settled into the couch, secure in the knowledge that I would have almost two hours of peace, along with one of my favorite summertime treasures. Ah, bliss.