Mini Fried Green Tomatoes
Some additional assorted small green tomatoes emerged off the seasons end tomato plants along with a few I held back after preparing the other weeks Green Tomato Chutney.
Unlike any other year when I would likely move on towards the seasons change, I felt determined to capture the final moments of summer and specially prepare today’s Mini Fried Green Tomatoes.
Besides, too, I had been looking for a reason to open the package of fresh cornmeal purchased at the Delaware Valley College Market that had been freshly ground out at Castle Valley Mill just a couple of miles away. I spent the day at Castle Valley Mill located in Doylestown just a few weeks back, along with the Chef, and his team from Emeril’s Chop House located at the Sands Hotel in Bethlehem. What a fun and fascinating day we shared, learning about the Mill, its history, and the renewed old tradition of milling fresh grains, including its production using original restored old equipment.
The remarkable Castle Valley Mill, with its warm, hospitable, and hard working owners, Fran and Mark Fischer, is another story I am eager to be sharing with you sometime soon but having been caught up in a whirlwind of the fall activities coupled with some fantastically special unique events!
Last week, my sister Carolyn, and her hubby, Roger, visited from Vegas. The time went so fast and I felt rather sad upon their leaving. One of the goals of the day for Carolyn who had been missing the east coast beauty of fall foliage was to experience the splendor of the leaves changing color. We enjoyed one of the day’s touring around the Delaware River towns, including Frenchtown then driving further along to Clinton where we enjoyed a lovely lunch by a crackling fire at the Clinton House.
Afterward, heading on back, we strolled along the bridge on the border between New Hope, Pennsylvania and Lambertville, New Jersey, before sharing a bottle of nice wine by the fire at the Lambertville Station Restaurant.
The following day we enjoyed a drive into Philadelphia along two of my favorite wooded and water lined winding roads, the Lincoln Drive, and Kelly Drive, although I couldn’t photograph the emerging multi-colored fall foliage since I was driving, did I mention winding roads?
Still, after the car tour enjoying some of the favorite old sites, we enjoyed a tapas sort of lunch at one of my favorite spots, a Jose Garces restaurant, Amada. Chatting and enjoying the special moment over platefuls of meats and select cheeses accompanied with tasty dipping sauces and cold glasses of house made Sangria, we were also were quite fond of the Fava and Lima Bean salad. Delicious.
No sooner had Carolyn and Roger left when I needed to be off to my semester long Korean Cuisine class at Drexel University, where we weekly meet for 6 hours absorbing a brief introduction before busying ourselves to the feature foods of the week.
Breaking into teams, we busily cook for some hours before coming together over the large shared tables set center in the professional kitchen, enjoying our day’s preparations as a community while learning too more extensively about the history and cultural components of traditional Korean foods and dishes.
Also in the mix has been my grandson, the J-Dude’s cross country season, including getting up around 5:30 am each Saturday morning to arrive in time for the meets. This photo Saturday we traveled to the Delaware shore area where are AOC club did well in the medal category including the Dude himself on the right. Yes, that is the looks of 9 and 10 year old boys. Chuckle.
Afterward, we had a sort of tailgate out of one of the vans. The kids had a good time. This was a cake walk sort of Tailgate being the pros as we are on the Tailgate trail, though we also did some big scale grilling and cooking in team tradition when our American University field hockey team played Princeton some weeks back. Yes, a busy but really special fall it has been.
We also attended the festivities on the inauguration of my best friend in high school, Mary Ann Baenninger, PhD, as the President of Drew University in New Jersey.
Mary Ann was pretty much one of those friends if you are lucky enough to have in your life, easily manages to make a huge impact on you forever, and by the speeches on her special day, it was pretty clear that she has continued to do this every path along her way.
How cool is it though to think of the person you used to stay up talking with into the wee hours of the morning, figuring out life, becomes the President of a University?
Well, to be accurate, she arrived at Drew not long after her ten years as President of the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota.
The first night held a cocktail reception and a lovely dinner with two of the introductory speeches provided by each of Mary Ann’s children, Maggie, and Danny.
And I really loved sharing the special precious time with all of her family. Above is Mary Ann’s Dad, “Len” we kind of always referred to him by his first name when we were young too. And beside him, Mary Ann’s beautiful daughter, Maggie.
After the dinner was a spectacular concert provided by diverse musical areas of the university, highly respected for its performance studies. Above, some of the musicians were tuning up prior to the event. There was an African sounds group, a symphony, a flute production, a chorus, a jazz band, each displayed with such impressive professional talent.
The following day was the installation followed by a campus wide buffet luncheon. I’m happy to have this shot of Mary Ann and me.
The installation was so amazing, but my favorite part was Mary Ann’s speech on that Inauguration day which was pragmatic while also being over the top energizing, and highly inspiring. Pure Mary Ann.
And my blue dress, a Drew University color was chosen earlier in the week after a luncheon with another high school friend, Maureen (Moe) from our small, private all-girls, Melrose Academy, though Maureen arrived the year Mary Ann graduated.
While Aunt Betty and I enjoyed some time together this month over various lunches, she celebrated her 89th birthday down the shore.
So then, wrapping up this month was the 88th Birthday celebration of my father -in law, Bob, aka: Grandad. Lots of the family were able to gather together at the historic Duling-Kurtz Inn in Exton which brought lots of fun and special moments to the occasion.
And so you see, there has been lots happening around these little Fried Green Tomatoes at the shared table.
Mini Fried Green Tomatoes
- 8 little medium sized green tomatoes, approximately, cored, sliced around 3/4 inch thick
- 1/4 cup flour for dredging tomato slices
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2-3 shakes Tabasco sauce
- 1/4 cup flour for coating mixture
- 1/4 cup cornmeal (Castle Valley Mill brand if you can get it!)
- couple pinches coarse kosher salt
- few grinds cracked black pepper
- peanut or canola oil for frying
- Creamy dip such as Ranch for serving alongside
- Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet for dipped tomato slices
- In a bowl mix together the beaten eggs with the Tabasco
- In another bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, a good pinch salt and a few grinds fresh cracked pepper
- Dredge tomato slices in flour, shake off excess then one at a time, dip dredged tomato first into the egg mixture then into the batter setting coated slices onto the lined baking sheet, refrigerate fifteen minutes or longer
- Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet. Fry tomatoes until golden brown before turning over and cooking until golden brown on the other side. Serve hot immediately with creamy dipping sauce