Another thing that she made was Chow Chow. It was something her mother had taught her when they lived "down home" as she would say. At the end of the gardening season women would take what was leftover in their gardens and chop everything...add some spices and seasonings and make this sweet relish. I would come to her house and the front door screen would be covered with flies...wanting to get in to that sweet stuff she was canning. The steam would be rising from her two canners sitting on the stove. She said, "I wish I had a stove in the basement...I could have four going." Later in the day, after sampling some of her zucchini bread, the jars would be sitting on clean dish towels on the counter. They looked like jewels...and I knew one of them was going home with me. She and my Mom were the best cooks I have ever known. My Mom cooked from recipe books. They were her passion. She would have loved the cooking channel and the computer, because of all the recipes she could read and see. She would save a cookbook for evening and sit on the couch and read it like a novel. My MIL didn't follow recipes...she added a little of this and a little of that...to make it her own. I have her little scribbly recipe cards all written in her special way...always with a name at the top...sometimes with her critique of the recipe. These two women were so different in their cooking styles, but both the best in my estimation.
We have lots of green tomatoes left. I used to can and made chow chow too....a not so sweet version. I have since given my canning equipment away, but I sort of wish I still had it, so I could make chow chow this year. Oh, well, times change and now my green tomatoes are sitting on the big table, covered with newspaper in the basement. I put a thin sheep of newsprint over them and they will ripen that way. I've had good success with that method. Joe did this in the past too. I kept a few out yesterday and made fried green tomatoes for lunch. Here's the recipe...
Fried Green Tomatoes
Take a big handful of corn meal and a little less flour and mix together on a plate...add seasonings. Beat two eggs in a flat bowl. Slice tomatoes little more that 1/4 inch thick. Dip the tomato slice in the beaten egg and then in the seasoned cornmeal mixture. For seasoning I used seasoned salt and lots of pepper. Take your iron skillet and generously cover the bottom with canola oil and place the slices carefully in the oil. and fry. They get brown really fast, so watch them. Yesterday, I made something else with these slices...
Fried Green Tomato Sandwiches. I didn't want a cheeseburger, so I took a toasted small hamburger bun and laid a slice, that just fit the bun, on top. On top of that a slice of red onion, then some grilled mushrooms, a slice of mozz. cheese, dill pickle slice, and then the regular catsup and mustard. (I think that you could use Ranch Dressing or make up a special sauce like McDonalds...mayo, catsup, and put in that chow chow...if you have some.) It was the same as Joe's cheeseburger...only better I think :)
What ever we do with this bounty from our late gardens...just use everything you can and then with the leftovers... give some to the little creatures that visit your compost pile.