We are, possibly, the worst greenhouse keepers in the history of greenhouse keeping.
I call our greenhouse THE THREE BEARS.
First it was too cold. Then it was too hot. Now, it’s varying degrees of warm as if we’re in Hell, and someone keeps opening the door.
PARDON ME WHILE I DIGRESS:
Some people think it’s funny when they open the bathroom door and I yell, “Close the door, you’re letting my warm air out!”
“Shouldn’t that be, letting the cold air in? “ they argue.
In/out, I don’t care. What’s being disturbed is a carefully balanced temperature control system of steam, hot naked body and cooling pond of water. So, close the door.
END OF DIGRESSION.
As I was saying, we have four tomato plants, a single surviving cucumber, six pea plants who somehow managed to jump out of the raised beds and sprout in the dirt floor, two cabbages trying to live, four carrot tops and one lonely tomato.
If we had to live this winter on what we grew this summer, we wouldn’t last a day.
What spurred us into this flurry of garden insufficiency? Green tomatoes.
We had given up the garden because between Montana’s short – oh, wait, it’s over – growing season and marauding deer, it wasn’t worth the aggravation. At the end of last summer, I came across a wonderful recipe for fried green tomatoes, which my Dearest proclaimed, turned out better than his grandma used to make. So, we went begging to all our gardening neighbors for green tomatoes which everyone had in excess because Montana’s growing season is about this long, no wait, it’s over already.
Some time this winter, we realized that while we couldn’t grow ripe tomatoes here, because no one can, we could, we reasoned, grow GREEN TOMATOES, and voila, the great greenhouse experiment gained momentum and rolled right over us.
So, now we gaze upon our pea-sized tomato and fantasize about a dinner of fried green tomatoes and cornbread. We haven’t stared at something this intently, for this long, since the baby was born.
It’s going to be a long winter.
Best Fried Green Tomato Recipe
Although it passed through several sources before it got to me, it is originally attributed to Ronni Lundy’s book, In Praise of Tomatoes, from Lark Books.
The triple dip is the secret.
5 green tomatoes (I can only dream)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup of milk
3 cups of bread crumbs (French bread works best IMHO)
Vegetable oil for frying
Cut the tomatoes into slices about ½ inch thick. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In a third bowl, dump the bread crumbs.
Heat about ½ inch oil in a wide, heavy skillet over a medium flame.
Dredge the tomato slices first through the flour, lightly coating both sides. (That’s right, flour first.) Next, drag each floured slice through the egg-milk mixture. Finally, place the slices in the bread crumbs, coating both sides.
Fry the tomato slices two or three at a time, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Serve hot.
~ ~ UPDATE ~ ~
On second thought, slice the tomatoes thinner. Let them sit for a bit to lose some fluid. French bread crumbs are good. Cornbread crumbs are good. Sourdough crumbs are not.
Guaranteed to make a country boy smile.