Friday, October 22, 2010

The tiniest cucumber

My cucumber plants were anything but bountiful this summer. I pulled them up a few weeks ago, after they had pretty much died. Here's a look at the last of the little suckers, and I mean little!
There's not much growing in the garden right now, though a bunch of bell peppers in various colors are hanging on, as is one lonely eggplant. The arugula is carrying on too.
Some flowers have sprouted on what's left of the cherry tomato plant. Even the eggplant has new flowers. My husband Mitch says they will never bear fruit. I, on the other hand, can't help but hold out a little hope.
Still, if it gets any colder than it was today, I may be out of luck.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall surprise - fried green tomatoes

After a two week vacation, I didn't know if I'd find any tomatoes when we returned to our garden. But despite it being mid-October and despite the fact that the plants were pretty much spent before we left, some fruit still hung from the stringy vines. I pulled the ripe ones, and even picked a few green ones from the dead stalks. That gave me a good excuse to try out a recipe for fried green tomatoes. I had made some earlier this summer, winging it, but they were a bust. This time, I followed some easy instructions and the fried tomatoes came out tangy and tasty, with just the right crunch.

Here's the recipe I used from

4 large, firm green tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup finely ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon paprika (I skipped this)
2 eggs, vegetable oil
1. Sprinkle the tomato slices with the salt and pepper; set aside.
2. Combine the cornmeal and paprika in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs.
3. Cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with 1/2 inch of oil, then place it over medium-high heat.
4. Coat the tomato slices in the egg, then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture.
5. Fry as many tomatoes as fit comfortably in the pan until nicely browned, about 2 minutes a side.
6. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined platter. Repeat until all the tomatoes are cooked.