Patsy Bell is a garden writer and Master Gardener Emeritus. She inherited her love of gardening from her grandmother and mother. Her favorite flower is whatever is blooming now. Her favorite season is whatever is next.

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Fried Green Tomatoes - Last Crop of the Season  




Fried Green Tomatoes - Last Crop of the Season
by Patsy Bell Hobson - posted 09/17/12

My favorite season is whatever comes next. My favorite flower is whatever is in bloom now. “I love the fall,” I told Jules. “You said that about summer,” he growled. “And before that, you said the same thing about spring.” Indeed, Jules is right. He does not always hear what I have to say, so remembering this particular seasonal topic is noteworthy.

“Where did we hide the Halloween candy?” he tries to remember. Like October weather, Jules’ memory can be scary and unpredictable. This year, I am hiding the Halloween candy in the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper. I do not think he has ever seen inside of the clothes hamper, let alone the bottom of it. It is a pretty safe bet that he will not look there now.

"We are saving the candy for the trick or treaters," I remind Jules.

"You should give them the green tomatoes."

Fried Greed Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are what you do with tomatoes that haven't ripened by the end of the growing season. Fall is the time for fried green tomatoes and making green tomato relish.

You may even be lucky enough to find locally grown, homemade tomato relishes and heirloom tomato salsa at the Farmers’ Market. Fried green tomatoes are the providence of home cooking. Restaurants try to turn this simple food into gourmet fare and usually fail.

Cook fried green tomatoes like you do fried okra. Then again, if you know how to cook fried okra, you probably already know how to cook fried green tomatoes. Uncle Eli uses his secret cornmeal fish-fry mix for fried green tomatoes.

So, for you Northerners and recently transplanted folks: slice firm green tomatoes, dip in an egg and milk wash. Roll in cornmeal, bread crumbs or flour mixture with salt and pepper. Fry. There are many variations, but this basic recipe will get you started on a seasonal end-of-the-garden-season treasure.

Jules won’t come to the table for fried okra or green tomatoes. West coast transplant that he is, I’ll never forget that look of horror on his face when I mentioned fried pickles.

Living in Missouri, there is not much that hasn't been fried. Still, Jules turned a little green when he saw fried Snickers and fried Oreos at the county fair.

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