Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fried Green Tomato Demonstration

This afternoon I did a cooking demonstration on Fried Green Tomatoes at Apron Strings downtown. I was wishing these were a bit more complex, because people had come out to see me make them and I wanted to make it worth their time. But, fried green tomatoes are very easy.

Fried Green Tomatoes
green tomatoes
yellow corn meal
oil (I used vegetable oil, but bacon grease is much better!)

Wash and core the tomatoes, and slice. Mix salt and pepper into cornmeal to taste. Dip tomato slices in cornmeal and then fry.

I made three batches today and used the same oil. This was the last batch and you can see the crumblies in the skillet. Turn them with a fork or egg turner until they're brown on each side.

Greg came to take photos for me. I swear, he's the best ex-boyfriend a girl could have.

I always put paper towels on the plate to drain the fried green tomatoes a bit before serving. Needless to say, they are greasy!

Lynette, who I've met there before, said she had been waiting for this demonstration. Her parents are both from the south so we had much to talk about after the demo. I'm looking forward to getting to know her better. I think everyone enjoyed the goodies.

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Excavating My Life

I've been digging through papers in my home office tonight. I swear, it's astonishing the amount of paper that comes into my life. As Teresa pointed out when I saw her earlier today, paper only comes into the house one way - you bring it in. She's right, of course, but that's a startling fact when one has had their hands on as many pieces of paper as I have tonight.

I had dinner with Teresa and did some other things before starting on this about 10 or so. I've made tremendous progress in a relatively short amount of time. However, there's still plenty to do.

I was thinking last night that I have about 30 categories of things that paper falls into. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to have 30 plus individual, distinct areas to containerize those things in a logical fashion. Part of the problem is that the room that's the logical place for my home office is the smallest bedroom in my house. So, where I spend a ton of my time when home is one of the least livable places in my house. So, the trick is going to be how to resolve that. I'd like to have another 15 feet built onto the back of my house, enlarging my office and kitchen, but that doesn't really make sense to do.

Of course, in going through things, I've run across bits of paper that remind me of specific moments in my life. I found notes from conferences I've been to, brochures from lectures I've attended, handwritten notes from one of my favorite volunteers, a Thanksgiving card from Maribeth, a lovely note from Gayla, and a letter from a man professing his love for me. All of these mark time in a specific way - reminding me of particular moments. Some bring a smile, some bring a tear. Some of them seem like they were just a couple of months ago and some seem like they were half a lifetime ago. Funny how our brains process time.

Well, it's time for me to sleep. I am doing a cooking demonstration tomorrow on Fried Green Tomatoes. I'm not sure how much there is to say about them so I don't know how I'm going to talk for 20 minutes. Hopefully, in the next 11 hours something will occur to me that's valid to share. Otherwise, it's going to be a quiet demo. I had intended to talk about southern food traditions, but haven't had a chance to devote any thought to it so I'll just wing it and let people ask questions.

I did a presentation on southern cooking some years ago, but unfortunately it was before everything was on my computer so I can't lay my hands on the info. I just didn't have the time to recreate it. So, I'll just hope for the best.
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I am looking for book clubs willing to read and critique my novel when it's completed. If your book club is interested, please email me at Thanks!