Food: The art of visualization
I once read in one of those self-help books that if you want something bad enough, you have to visualize it. I’d like to report that apparently this works.
Last March when I planted my Marianna Peace tomato seeds, it was sleeting out and the thought of ripe tomatoes clinging to the vine, warm from the sun, was a far and distance possibility. But as I gathered soil and peat cups to start my seeds on that cold early spring day, I did indeed “visualize” ripe, juicy red tomatoes, magnificent BLT sandwiches, salsa, gourmet salads and other fare that would include these fruits.
Then I marveled as the tiny shoots eventually poked through the soil and sprouted into respectable plants and by mid June, they were enjoying soft rain showers and sunshine out in my garden. By July, tiny green tomatoes were forming and for the last months, I have watched them swell with promise, but not turn red.
In fact, I sort of resigned myself to the fact that perhaps these tomatoes required too long a time to actually ripen in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. At least that was what I was thinking last weekend when the first frost warning came up on the TV. I immediately went out to look at my tomato plants and was shocked at what I found.
While there were gree
n specimens in abundance on the outside of the plants, once I actually got up close and peeked under the leaves, I saw what I had envisioned in my brain last March; a perfectly ripe and red Marianna Peace tomato. I couldn’t help but ooh and ahh.
As I twisted it off the vine I held it up, turning it this way and that, my mouth watering with anticipation. Marianna Peace tomatoes are heirloom fruits, but their ripening time can go into the fall. Nonetheless here was what I been envisioning so many months ago and it wasn’t long before I had bacon frying and lettuce and mayonnaise ready for my envisioned BLT.
And while I enjoyed that tomato immensely, the green ones still on the vine take me back to when my Mom and I used to garden together. She loved fried green tomatoes and there were plenty of times she requested me to go pick her one. As kids we didn’t much care for them, but I have come to love them as an adult and have been eating them on a regular basis lately. This week, I’ve included the recipe my Mom used along with an unusual dipping sauce that compliments them just perfectly.
There is a certain satisfaction though, in knowing that from a tiny seed planted on a sleety day, I am now harvesting such magnificent specimens. I guess there really is something to this visualization business, but any good gardener knows that.
Fried Green Tomatoes
3 firm, green tomatoes
1 cup of flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup of yellow corn meal
1 tsp. of sugar
1 Tbs. butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Oil for frying
Wash, rinse, and pat dry tomatoes. Slice off the ends of the tomato and discard.
Slice each tomato in thick slices, about 1/4 of an inch. Place the slices on a wire rack over paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 15 minutes. Set up containers to dredge the tomato slices.
Place flour into one container, buttermilk into one and corn meal into another.
After 15 minutes, use a paper towel and pat the liquid off the tomatoes.
Sprinkle both sides with pepper, salt, and a pinch or so of sugar. Dredge each slice, one at a time, first in the flour, then buttermilk, then corn meal. Gently remove any excess. Set each slice back on the wire rack and let them rest for about 10 minutes. Add oil and butter to skillet on medium heat.
Fry until done on both sides, remove to a paper towel and let drain. Serve with the sauce.
Blue Cheese Dill Sauce
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. plain yogurt
2 tsp. chopped fresh dill
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
Mixture together all the ingredients. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.