The other evening during supper, Charlie said, “It’s starting to taste like summer.” That’s because one of the enterprising vendors at the farmers’ market had started plants in the greenhouse and had green tomatoes to sell.
By husbandential fiat, we can’t pick any green tomatoes until after July 4th. The stakes for the Ripe Tomato By The Fourth Of July competition are high: top bragging rights for the whole year. –“I won the Nobel, Pulitzer, Pushcart, and Booker prizes.” –“Really? I had ripe tomatoes by the 4th.” –“Wow! Can I have your autograph?”
There is no “right” way to make them. Make them the way you like them. Make them different every time. Here’s a link to the recipe used by the restaurant Fannie Flagg used as the model for The Whistle Stop Cafe. Sounds kinda frou-frou to me but, as Grandpa used to say, “If you ain’t tried it, don’t knock it.”
Here’s my recipe for fried green tomatoes, cucumber salad, ripe tomatoes and marriage, all wrapped up in a poem:
by Marian Allen
You can’t just fry green tomatoes,
Aunt Louisa tells me.
Can’t just toss em in a pan
Like virgins in a marriage bed.
The flour’ll come right off.
No damn good unless they’re crusty.
Slice em middlin thin and salt em.
Flour em after that. Then the flour’ll stick.
Onions and cucumbers, she says.
Soon as you pick em, while the skins are tender,
slice em kinda thin into a bowl.
Pepper and salt em–heavy on the salt.
Cover em with sweet milk and let em set.
Salt draws out the bitter,
sweet milk makes em kind.
Cucumbers can hurt you
‘less you fix em right.
Aunt Louisa says.
Don’t pick em pink and
set em on a windowsill.
Tasteless and mealy, took before their time.
Pick ’em ripe and slice em thick.
You can’t be hasty with tomatoes, girl.
You can’t be stingy.
What’s the taste of summer to you?
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Two characters get into an argument about the “right” way to do something.