Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Monday, September 3, 2012

When Life Gives You Late Blight, Make Fried Green Tomatoes!

I'm starting with a piece of the good stuff, so you have an enticing picture to lure you in...yes indeedy, fried green tomatoes...read on my blog friends, read on...

We have confirmed our garden tomatoes have been hit hard with Late Blight.  Not a pretty sight, and heartbreaking to say the least.  The cooler, very damp weather we've had this summer has encouraged it's spread throughout Western NC and many other areas throughout the states.

At this stage of the disease, we don't have many options.  We can leave the tomatoes on the vines and hope they grow and ripen, but having observed how quickly this terrible fungus affects the plants, we have opted for the only other choice we have...pick the green tomatoes!  We did leave the Black Russians on the vine, because those plants do not seem as severely affected at this point.  I suppose it is really a desperate hope they might turn at least a little bit red on the vine.  But believe me, we will be monitoring them very closely!

These are the Cherokee Purple tomatoes.  Notice the small one in the front of the photo, we cut it open to be sure there was something to salvage, and it looks very promising!  We also did confirm that you can eat tomatoes affected by the blight, just don't replant the seeds or any parts of the plant to your compost!

These are the Cherry tomatoes, (well, we thought they were Cherry tomato seeds, but they sure look like they might be something else, too big for Cherry's)...

Here is an example of how quickly the blight affects the tomato...here is the whole tomato, notice the slight blemish at 6 o'clock (ish)...

...this is the tomato cut open, see the browning already going on?  You don't want to eat that part. 
I'm glad we decided to take action and rescue (literally) the tomatoes.   After cutting all the affected areas, we used every single one of our green tomatoes you see in the photos above, except one, which we put on the windowsill with the hope it will ripen. (And we did decide we will be cutting the Black Russians first thing tomorrow morning as well.)

So, being the type of people who make the best out of everything (we do try anyway), I am making fried green tomatoes w/ horseradish dipping sauce for dinner. This will be accompanied by Mountain Man's Goat Cheese Bruschetta (his secret recipe and I am not allowed around him when he is cooking...well, really my choice...he asks me a recipe load of questions before he starts, only likes some of the answers, and, well, doesn't do things the way I would, resulting in my butting in, which you know can not be beneficial in the long run, and then there is the whole cleaning as I go thing which we are polar opposites in that regard, so, vous faites cuire, Chez Johny, cook on, I'm outa the kitchen!).

The menu d'jour...

Lise's Fried Green Tomatoes
Green Tomatoes, sliced
2 eggs, beaten (well, we only had one good egg, the other was a little cracked, so we added a little white wine to the 1 beaten egg, and you know what, it was a great success!)
Kentucky Kernel Seasoned Flour, for dusting the tomatoes
A mixture of even parts of bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs and corn meal
salt & pepper

Horseradish Dipping Sauce
Mix 3 large tbsp horseradish, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup sour cream, dash of lemon juice, salt & pepper.  Set in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

Being that I was so engaged with examining the tomatoes, I failed to take lots of pictures.  But it is a relatively simple process and recipe, so I am completely confident you don't need my photos to progress successfully:)  Here is the end result of the tomatoes...

Mountain Man's Goat Cheese Bruschetta
Here is the end result, I bet you can guess some of the ingredients...mostly garden fresh, just the right compliment of veggies, cheese, oil and vinegar!

A very enjoyable meal and relatively healthy too, minus the fried part!

All things considered, we have enjoyed our tomato crop.  We still have a couple tomatoes ripening in the square foot gardens that look like they have been spared the blight, though they do have a fungus.  Fortunately, it is much less devastating than the Late Blight, and we have actually enjoyed one magnificent vine ripened tomatoes from it so far!  We are hoping for a few more.

This experience is definite confirmation that we need to try this again...we now know that we should treat all tomatoes and potatoes (being that they are in the same family...did you know that?), with copper as soon as the plants mature from seedling to new plant, as that will keep the fungus' from starting.  And copper is a natural fungicide (at least that is my understanding, anyone knowing any different, please do tell), so less dangerous than chemicals that are man made and nasty.  We also know good, quality seeds are critical, and you must be very careful when buying plants...fungus and blight are hiding everywhere!

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Dad/Pepere said...

Dinner looks great! UMMMMM! Hugs!

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Mountain Man's Bruschetta looks wonderful! I can't say the same for your nice looking fried green tomatoes. We tried them once, they just weren't to our liking.
I know there is a relish for green tomatoes. We even made green tomatoes into pickles last year after we tasted them in southern Missouri. We love them with fried fish!

Lise said...

Thanks Dad, it was yum!

Patti, not sure I would like pickled green tomatoes, but I just learned that they can be cut and frozen for future use in sauce, etc. Think I am going that route, as I only have a small bowlful left!