Tag Archive | Tomato

End of Season Tomatoes

Window Sill Ripening Tomatoes. Last Harvest 2014

I gathered my remaining Tomatoes from the vine at the end of October. We were expecting our first frost, and  I just couldn’t see them going to waste.  We got several dozen tomatoes from that single plant….my first  vegetable in my TN garden.

I placed them on my windowsill in my sun room which has sun light on three sides throughout the day.   The sun room doesn’t get as hot in the fall and at night we keep the room at a cool  60˚.

I read somewhere, that it can take 1-2 weeks to ripen tomatoes wrapped in brown paper bags or newspaper, but I liked being able to see my pretty tomatoes.  They make me smile,  almost as much as flowers do… (almost)!

Having not given the thought that they actually “would” ripen, I just assumed they would take at least the full two weeks.  I had hoped to share them with my Mother who is coming for a visit this Thanksgiving.

Long story short, most of my Tomatoes are just about fully ripened, after only one week. Unless I make Salsa  or another recipe, I will not be able to share my fresh tomatoes with my Mother.

In the meantime, I have heard so many people talk about a Southern staple of Fried Green Tomatoes.  I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  I did an online search for them and found so many varying recipes.  Some had ingredients I didn’t like (such as Cajun spice) and others used more or less ingredients etc.  Here’s what I came up with.

Ingrediants 4FGT

Fried Green Tomatoes

-1 large beaten egg
-1/2 cup buttermilk
-1/2 cup general all purpose flour
-1/2 cup cornmeal
-1 tsp. Salt (optional)
-1/2 tsp black pepper
-3 medium-sized green tomatoes (cut into 1/3 inch slices)
-Enough vegetable oil for half inch depth in frying pan. (I used a non stick pan)

In small bowl combine egg and buttermilk, set aside
In separate bowl mix 1/4 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of cornmeal, pepper and (optional) salt~ I try not to use salt when cooking, but rather use the shaker at the table if desired).

Next, Dip cut slices of green tomatoes in bowl of 1/4 flour to coat, lightly shake off excess, then dip into egg mixture and then coat in cornmeal mixture.

fryingGreenTomatoes

In a frying pan, heat oil.  Carefully place tomatoes in single layer in hot oil and Cook for 2 minutes on each side until you reach a nice golden color.  Do not burn.  Remove from oil and place on paper towel to soak up any extra grease and then cool.   Season to taste with salt & additional pepper if desired.

Fried Green Tomatoes

My hubby liked them.  After trying however, I personally couldn’t get past the whole “not ripe” tomato thing!  I thought it was just strange.  So…….I made myself a normal, everyday Tomato sandwich on a Toasted Whole Wheat bun with oodles of Hellman’s Mayo and black pepper!  Yum….nothing tastes as good as simplicity!

Fresh sill ripened Tomato Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bunwith loads of Hellman's Mayo, Black Pepper and fresh from the garden Lemon Thyme Sprig for garnish! Yum....nothing tastes as good as simplicity!

It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.  ~Lewis Grizzard

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Beefsteak Charlie 1

Tomatoes are one of the simplest of vegetables that one can grow. Providing the right conditions, (including water, sun, soil, and enough attention from the gardener);  you will have yourself eating a BLT with your very own fresh tomatoes in about 60-90 days.  Even at my age, planting tomatoes, is a first for me…..I have a looong way to go to become an expert vegetable gardener who offers up advice. This post is purely about  my experience.

 The best place to seek God is in a garden . You can dig for him there. ~George Bernard Shaw

I planted a seedling a little over two months ago, having no idea if vegetables will work with my soil type. Tennessee has more rocks than dirt in my neck of the woods., so I did NOT take the time to prepare the soil, nor did I make a decent garden bed. \Shame on me/ I figured, if this one plant survives and produces, then next year I will make a proper garden elsewhere in my yard.

I dubbed my first seedling “Beefsteak Charlie 1“. I’ve been checking daily for it’s progress, and with each growth spurt, I have been pleasantly surprised and tickled pink. Often times I have a childlike enthusiasm and I tend to flip out over the simplest of things. (insert big cheesy grin here !) 😀

About 1 week old tomato

I have been watching the leaves grow on BC1, from one leaf into three, four and so on. Seeing little yellow flowers grow on the stems and wondering what they were and if it was normal or not. I have been giddy with excitement from the first teenie tiny tomato which was about the size of a straight pin head.

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling. ~Mirabel Osler

As BC1 matures, his shape is nice and round, but his green stalk/vine is rather leggy. Not as many leaves as I had thought, and not very bushy as I have seen in other gardens. Perhaps it is because I planted BC1 in front of a fence which gives him a bit of shade. (not smart on my part). Next year, I will hopefully remedy that mistake, and plant my tomatoes in full sun. Live and learn.

Approximately 3 weeks old

3 weeks old

One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it provides. ~W.E. Johns

Beefsteak Charlie1 on the rise

Turning red

Super Simple Tomato Marker made from a (recycled) plastic lid and a Twig, using Acrylic (color) Paints and Clear Krylon sealer paint.

Super Simple  Tomato Marker made from a (recycled) plastic lid and a
Twig, using Acrylic (color) Paints and Clear Krylon sealer paint.

Double Tomato

Picken my first Tomato 7-16-14

Picken my first Tomato 7-16-14

Today I harvested my very first Tomato. Although small, it must’ve been ready, because it came off in my hand as I was checking it’s firmness on the stem. It may have come off too soon. It does have a little pale (orangey) color on the backside to it yet, so I will let it sit on the window sill for a day or so to fully ripen. It should be a deeper, brighter red., in my opinion.

Beefsteak Charlie 1  debut 7-16-14 Black Eyed Susan,  Moonbeam Coreopsis, & Russian Sage  Pitcher Vase made in Italy

Beefsteak Charlie 1
Black Eyed Susan, Moonbeam Coreopsis, & Russian Sage
Pitcher Vase made in Italy

Once the tiny tomato formed from the flower, it took a little over 30 days to produce a somewhat ripened tomato ~ give or take a few days. In the mean time, BC1 gave me a chance to learn how to use a makeshift photo box, for better photos of my smaller objects. (Thank you Pinterest)! Now I just have to remember to use my good camera instead of the convenience of using my cell phone……what a difference it makes!
Happy Gardening .

My first Tomato Harvested

My first Tomato Harvested

Half the interest of a garden is the constant exercise of the imagination. ~Mrs. C.W. Earle