A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Harvest Recipes and Memories of the Old Days

This time of year reminds me of my mother in law. She was the first one to introduce me to the fun of making pine cone crafts. She called me one day and asked if I would like to go for a ride in the country with her. It was a nice day, so I got the kids ready and we set off for a nice drive. She had plans for this ride...we would go to cemeteries and look around for pine cones and other bits of nature to add to her craft project. I had two little kids with and as she would say, "They are closer to the ground." She told me that cemeteries are the best place to look for cones...and nuts as there are so may pine trees and nut trees planted there. We had a great time that afternoon. She created the most beautiful crafts with those cones and nuts. She had a tiny drill and drilled holes in all of her gatherings and wired them on a styro cone. To fill in the spaces, she used linoleum adhesive. I was given one of her trees for Christmas that year and I had it for many, many years.
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.


Bunny Jean said...

Loved hearing about those sweet memories! At least they can stay with us forever...

The recipes sound delicious and will try them out. Haven't had fried green tomatoes for years.

Thanks for you comment about the new blogger format issues... it's got me kind of worried.

xoxo Bunny Jean
Wednesday's Bunny Hop Party!

thesouthernladycooks.com said...

It looks like you have been traveling, writing poetry and many other things. I have enjoyed catching up on what is going on with you two. It is always fun to remember the good times. Thanks for the banana info. Posted it today for my readers. It is fall big time in Ky. In the 50s today with a chance of frost over the weekend. I love the cool weather. Have a good weekend. Love and hugs.

Mitzi said...

Loved reading you blog today. Those old time memories are so special,aren't they?

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Balisha, you brought back fond memories of a special one who passed away many years ago. I learned so much from her about canning. She would take all the veggies on the vine before frost
and cut them up and they were almost like pickles. Little sliced tomatoes, squash, green beans, corn - can't remember all that went into that jar but it sure was good with roast or really anything.

Zoey said...

What wonderful memories, Balisha. I enjoyed reading about your Mom and MIL.

Those fried green tomatoes sound good. I have not made them in years. Now I wish I had one.

Barbee' said...

Oh, Balisha, you made my mouth water... it really is!

Balisha said...

The picture of the jar of Chow Chow was taken from the internet. Yesterday, my son called and asked what that was. He thought it looked gross. Wondered if he had ever eaten it...hoped that he hadn't. I guess I picked a sad looking photo. My Chow Chow never looked that way. Maybe I should delete the picture.