I thought the first blog post would be about my passions, my life, and my goals. It would have highlighted what I was planning on writing on: food, cooking, coffee, gardening, people. . . As a precursor to writing, I have spent the last week reading beautifulblogs and came away feeling completely unoriginal. I felt I had no new or fresh ideas to add. And maybe I don’t . . . but I was inspired to write,
Let me explain . . .
Last Spring, Ben and I planted a humble food garden located within a garden that exists between our yard and the church next door (I love living next to the church; it has such a rich community that has been welcoming and caring that we would not experience unless we were so very close). Although the entire church is surrounded by flowers, the landscaper there is very strict on what goes into the ground. We should have communicated with him, but we didn’t. We removed two hostas to plant tomatoes, cucumbers and some herbs. The landscaper was terribly upset. We apologized. We moved our garden into our backyard. Situation resolved.
This Spring we were surprised with two beautiful tomato plants that sprung up from last year’s seeds in the old garden spot. Although this is completely natural, it was amazing to me that they even grew due to the unnaturally cold winter we experienced. It was a delight to see something bearing fruit that did not take any watering or extra care. It was a gift from nature. A gift from work I did over one year ago. The tomatoes grew slowly into small, deep green globes. We patiently awaited the turning of colors to signify the harvest of our sweet cherry tomatoes.
One week ago, walking outside to send Emma off to preschool, I noticed the plants had disappeared. I knew they were there – it was hard to miss the massive sprawling plant. It became clear that they were ripped out of the ground. Left in its place were a few loose green tomatoes, a sly cilantro plant that was overlooked during the uprooting, and a freshly planted hosta. Upon further investigation we found the tomato plants wilted and thrown in a pile. I immediately dug a hole in our garden and transplanted the poor plants into fresh soil hoping it would find life again.
During the process, we lost many small green tomatoes. To lighten the mood, I asked Ben what we could do with them. He jokingly referenced the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. Emma and I proceeded to collect the fallen tomatoes and carry them inside for dinner.
It turns out, fried green tomatoes are green tomatoes that are breaded, fried and served with dipping sauce. But we were in the mood for a savory dinner, and Emma requested pasta. Instead of the traditional fried green tomatoes, we made a more colorful and fresh version. We used some of the uprooted cilantro in the dish and the rest is hung up to dry above our kitchen windows.
The tomatoes were firm and tart. The onions were soft and sweet. We served it over penne pasta. It was a delicious solution to our green tomato issue. Who could stay upset while cooking and eating with people you love? And while drinking wine . . . there was a little wine involved.
As for the transplant, I am not sure that it will work. It has been one week and the plants have kept their wilted look. They are still holding their color – maybe there is hope.
Fried Green Tomatoes
3 handfuls of small green tomatoes
1 red onion – halved and sliced
3 cloves of garlic – crushed and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil/coconut oil
2 tablespoons cilantro – I used fresh
1 teaspoon oregano
Crush and finely chop the garlic. Half and slice the red onion. Add the garlic and onion to a skillet with oil and sauté for a few minutes.
Half the tomatoes and slice them rather thinly. Add them to the skillet. Turn the heat high and let them brown.
Season with cilantro, oregano, salt and pepper.
Serve hot over your favorite grain/pasta/etc.
Note: I would suggest adding ripe tomatoes as well to get more sweetness and a saucy consistency.
Singing to this