Green Tomatoes Everywhere! -a view from my kitchen table this morning.

Signs of the Coming Winter:  Green Tomatoes in my Kitchen . . .

No "hard freeze" yesterday in Garland.  Even so with a 32 degree reading in Garland at 6 am today, I was glad to have taken the precautions I did--covering my plants with leaves and blankets and digging up all my artichokes and bringing them, along with an orange a lemon tree, into my home.  it was a good fire drill for me as tonight the weatherman is predicting a hard freeze for our area.

["Hard freeze" is used to imply temperatures that are sufficiently cold, for a long enough period, to seriously damage or kill seasonal vegetation. In our area, this usually means temperatures falling into the upper 20s or lower for at least two to three hours.]

The more experienced gardeners in Loving Garland Green's membership, such as Carol and Daniel, have built protective enclosures around their tomato plants.  These gardeners will be picking fresh tomatoes from their garden throughout the winter.  The johnny-come-latelys to the garden scene such as I are content to gather in our green tomatoes before the hard freeze.  Indeed, I'm glad to even have some tomatoes to gather.

Now the question becomes:  What shall I do with this nutritious food source?

I've decided to do three things:  1) Keep some on the vine and stick the vine in water with a few nutrients in it to see if they will continue to mature.   2) Just leave some in a sack on the table to ripen. 3) Cook the rest.  

If you visit the Internet and search for ways to ripen green tomatoes, you'll find all kinds of interesting instructions. Several methods suggest that putting a banana in with the tomatoes in the bag will speed things along.  I was a little surprised that most of the methods suggest to ripen tomatoes in either a plastic or paper bag in a warm dry space out of the sun.  Left to following Charlie's method, I would have simply put them on the kitchen table in the sun to ripen. They will ripen if you do this.  I know because I've seen it happen many times.

As for cooking green tomatoes, just search under "green tomato recipes". (I got 23,100,000 results in 0.48 sec.) Not that I looked at them all, but I did find on recipe that I plan to try:


Fried Green Tomato Parmesan

from "The Messy Baker"

  •  4 medium green tomatoes cored
  • salt
  • fresh black ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flower
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • olive oil for frying
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • pasta of your choice


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease a 9-inch by 13 inch glass pan.
2. Slice tomatoes 1/2 inch thick.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
3. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet
4.Beat the green tomato slices by dipping them int he coating ingredients in the following order:  milk, flower, egg, bread crumbs.
5.  Fry each slicks 4 to 5 minutes per side.  
6. Place in a single layer to cover the bottom of the baking pan.
7. Cover tomato slicers evenly with tomato sauce.
8. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
9. Bake 45 to 60 minutes or until tomatoes are done to your liking.
10 Serve hot on freshly cooked pasta.


And then there is the promise of more tomatoes next year. . .

 Down at the Garland Community Garden we are beginning our annual fall collection of leaves, paper and cardboard boxes--materials that we use to create lasagna beds, mound style.

In addition to amending the soil in the first section of The Winding Garden section, in late December we will begin construction on the second row of these garden plots.  Section I is approximately 160 feet long and about three feet wide.  Section II will be about the same.  Each section is divided and numbered into 24 plots.

Visit our website at Loving Garland Green, or better yet attend one of our weekly meetings at 216 East Kingsbridge Drive Garland Texas 75040.  We meet every Monday from 6:30 to 7:30.

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