On cool Sunday mornings of late summer, my father, always an early riser, would slide quietly out of bed, pull on his stay-at-home clothes, and go to the kitchen to measure coffee into the stovetop coffee percolator.
I am also an early riser, so soon I’d be in the kitchen with him stirring Bosco chocolate into a tall glass of milk, spoon clinking against the sides, frothing tiny bubbbles at the top. We’d sit at the table in silence, looking out the window at patches of flowers, wild blackberries, and tended gardens.
“Why don’t you go out and find some good frying tomatoes,” he’d say, and out I’d go to wander the rows with a small worn Easter basker, to gather the largest, firm green tomatoes I could find.
When the basket was full, I’d carry it into the kitchen, place it on the counter, and quickly rinse and dry the fruits. Dad had the frying pan out, its bottom covered with oil, with a bowl of beaten eggs and a platter of spiced flour. He’d pull out the sharpest knife and cut the tomatoes into thick slabs and begin the frying process.
Flour, egg dunk, flour, fry.
No matter how full a basket I’d brought in, the two of us could eat most of the fried green tomatoes before my mother and sister rose. Though to be honest, I’d usually bring in only two or three tomatoes.
Addendum 1: My sister says she didn’t remember this. That’s because we always polished off all the tomatoes before she got up!
Addendum 2: Many thanks to Lori and David for the green tomatoes!
There are only two things that money can’t buy: true love and home grown tomatoes — Guy Clark
Almost nothing tastes as good as home grown tomatoes!
That makes three of us for sure. I love the song and turn it up whenever it comes on my stereo in the car.
I have seen the movie but never tried this. Now I know what I’ll do with my tomatoes that refuse to ripen in this cold climate.
Bente, just look on line for recipes. Many say to make a half-flour and half-cornmeal blend for the last flour dip, but this makes it pretty crunch. If you don’t like a lot of crunch, make it about 3/4 flour and 1/4 cornmeal. Enjoy!
Dear Emilie, Thank you for the delicious reminiscence. I so appreciate your craftsmanship–you paint sparely yet vividly a picture of you and your dad, sharing silence and other luscious, unforgettable moments (I haven’t thought of Bosco in a looooong time, but the flavor came right back onto my welcoming tongue :)). You are a masterful storyteller….and from the photos and description, an excellent cook, as well. Thank you. xo
Chloe, thank you so much. I get few comments on my posts and sometimes I wonder why I bother. Then I read your comment and feel such joy!
I am leaving in two weeks to cover an ecological disaster that has received little media coverage. I want to write clear, strong prose yet use creative writing. It is a big challenge since I am not a journalist, and this will be a big first for me. i hope to have something I can market, complete with photos. I’m a bit nervous, and feel pangs of “not good enough” and “you don’t know what you’re doing” when I think about it, but I am going to give it a serious try.
Cross your fingers for me!
At the very least, I’ll put excerpts in my blog. But I hope to end up with a major piece suitable for major magazines or newspapers.
Fingers totally crossed for you, Emilie! Congratulations on all of this…especially following your passion. I wish you lots of great adventures and inspiration and look forward to reading. Bon voyage, baby! p.s. I know exactly how you feel about “why bother” writing–and , at times, that has kept me from writing. Then I either receive encouragement from someone I respect, like you, or recall that more art is better for the universe and all of us. Write on!
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