May the roof above us never fall in
And may we good companions beneath it never fall out.

~Irish blessing

Friday, April 17, 2009

Green Tomatoes and Ham

Tomato season is closing here in Melbourne, but most of our late planted vines are still laden with mostly green fruit. Wanting to make some room for new crops, I thought I'd try the 'Pull and Hang' method I've heard suggested, by removing two plants and hanging them upside down to ripen. What went wrong? I'm not sure but the next day many of the green fruits were starting to lose their taughtness. I guess as the roots dried out, the tomatoes were also losing moisture. Worried they would just shrivel up, I quickly picked the lot.

So, what to do with all these green tomatoes?

Soul Food - Fried Green Tomatoes

Traditionally you slice the green tomatoes, dip in beaten egg, then dredge in cornmeal or crumbs and pan fry. I'm sure there are endless variations though. I dusted the slices with a mixture of rice flour and chickpea flour and fried them in butter. They were so delicious they were all snaffled before I remembered to take a picture!

Green Tomato Pickle (Great with cold cuts, hence the blog title)

Inspired by Gavin's fantastic recipe posted at  - I reduced the quantities  and used just a little cummin instead of curry powder.

125ml white vinegar
500g green tomatoes
166g onion
Half a tbs salt
Pinch of black pepper
166g sugar
1 tsp cummin
½ tbs mustard powder

Chop the onions and tomatoes, stir in the salt, then leave stand overnight.

The next day drain off the liquid.  Add tomatoes/onions to 
a large frying pan and add three quarters of the vinegar.  
Bring to boil and boil for 10 minutes.  Add the sugar, 
bring back to the boil whilst stirring.  Then boil 
for 1 hour to reduce, stirring often.

Mix the remaining vinegar with the dry ingredients.  
Add to the pan and stir until well combined.  Boil for a further 
5 minutes, then pour in to a sterilised jar.

Thanks for the recipe Gavin. For more, see his personal blog - Great stuff.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

September 2009 - Sow more beans!

Just a reminder to myself to sow more beans later this year for next Summer. As much as I love all of the nightshade veggies - tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, capsicum etc - some more crunchy green things would be good.

Lazy Housewife Bean. Available from Diggers -

"Our oldest climbing bean dating back to 1802. Described in Burpees 1888 Farm Annual as being "broad thick and very fleshy and entirely derived its name which seems discourteous from its immense productiveness" . What more can you say except they suit house-husbands just as well. Our best yielding bean. 561g/plant." - Diggers catalogue.