The Last Tomato Hurrah

As a gardener and foodie, I anxiously await the first ripe tomato of the season.  Months later, I then wistfully and reverently consume that last, luscious orb which my vines produce.  A ripe tomato is incomparable in its perfect balance of sweetness, acidity and juiciness.  A sprinkle of salt or not?  Your choice -- either way, it's ambrosia.

My love affair with tomatoes continues this week in the guise of fried green tomatoes.  They've been available at the Mobile Market of recent since tomatoes are nearing the end of their season -- we'll be taking out our tomato plants soon to plant more fall crops, so it's time to salvage whatever tomatoes are still on the vine.

Dipped in buttermilk, covered with a mix of cornmeal and flour, and paired with grits, sausage and toast, these crunchy discs make a most excellent breakfast-dinner.  Last night I put on a Patsy Cline CD, and channeled my inner Southern Cook.  The only thing missing is a beehive hairdo; I've already got a frilly apron.

Fried Green Tomatoes

4 green tomatoes
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup each corn meal and flour mixed with
salt, pepper and cayenne to taste

Slice and salt the tomatoes, and lay them on a paper towel to drain for 20 minutes.  Pat dry.  Heat oil in a frying pan.  Dip the tomatoes in the buttermilk and dredge in the cornmeal/flour mixture.  Fry until crispy golden on each side.  Order up!

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