“The Granma ‘Fried Green Tomatoes’ “

 

 

 

When my grandparents were still healthy, my brother, my parents and I used to drive on the highway at least one weekend a month to visit them. Each time the welcome was what I imagine is reserved to the royals, a banquet with lots of food to feed the army, which however punctually disappeared within a few hours.

Grandma despite being one of those women of other times who does not waste time in kisses and hugs had her very personal way of showing us the infinite love she had for us: preparing pizza in a wood oven.
Lots of pizza.
She served it hot, a moment ago baked, and left us free to play in every part of the house and patio.
I imagine the sadness of those grandchildren who will find tofu and quinoa banquets in the future, considering the new vegan fashion … which I hope will pass soon.
However, they could eat ( if they find a way to replace the eggs …) the dish that reminds me more of the grandmother’s patio: The Fried Green Tomatoes *. Well, if they can’t, worse for them!!!

Vegans are losing the best of life: food!

 

*Fried Green Tomatoes
 (the recipe is that of the novel)

pomodori verdi fritti
Graphic by: Veronica

Ingredients for 4 tomatoes:

– 3 tablespoons of bacon fat
– 100 g of flour
– 4 green tomatoes
– 1 cup of milk
– 2 beaten eggs
– 3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
– Salt and Pepper To Taste.

 

Method

We wash very well the tomatoes, slice them and peel them. So, we heat the bacon fat in a frying pan; wet the tomatoes in the beaten egg, then we pass them in breadcrumbs.
We fry until they are colored on both sides and we place them on a plate. For each spoon of fat left in the pan, add one of flour and mix well.
We pour, always moving, a cup of warm milk and let it cook until the sauce condenses, without ever stopping to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. We pour on tomatoes and serve very very hot.

 

Grandma has always been a traditionalist, imagine her face when I asked her to try this American dish.

I was sitting on the long staircase that connected the house to the patio, I was avidly reading this nice novel of women for women (although at second reading I noticed much more the racial issue and at the third social issues, so in the end it is a novel that I would also recommend to the Y chromosome).

A light sirocco wind turned the pages for me, and the cicadas were the soundtrack. When I finished the book I went to my grandmother and I proposed her to cook this dish that gives the title to the novel by Fannie Flagg (although honestly for all 361 pages we talk constantly about food since the main and secondary narrator are both very greedy. )
She stared at me for a few minutes, then she accepted the challenge and so for the first (and last time) I ate these famous tomatoes …. Considering that everything is good when fried, I cannot really say if it is truly worth, thaking into account by the way that the kitchen of Alabama ** offers much more juicy dishes. Surely it is a fresh, summer dish that goes well with this reading …

 

The story extends through different temporal jumps but does not confuse the reader, but help him to make a whole picture of the events. The leading part is the more contemporary one (starting in 1985) in which Ninny Threadgoode, guest of a nursing home, tells Mrs. Evelyn about her life in Whistle Stop, the small village near the railway where she and her family lived when she was a girl; a different part is the most fun one dedicated to the weekly Whistle Stop bulletin in which Dot Weems from 1929 to 1969 shows us the central events that happened in the city and often also in the homes of its residents ; the third and last part is the one placed at Whistle Stop mainly based on Idgie and Ruth, and that helps us to integrate the stories of Mrs. Ninny.
The three parts are never disconnected, but move with extraordinary capacity from one decade to the next and from one place to another.It is not difficult to close your eyes and daydream about walking through the streets of the city, hearing the roar of the transit trains, the aroma of the food being prepared in the Café. Every time I reread it, I return to grandmother’s stairs with the scent of her kitchen, with the voices of my mother and her sisters who argument about how much salt is needed here and how much time the bread should be left on the oven to rise
…It reminds me of the times that inevitably went ….
It reminds me of the food, the good one! 

The film that has been drawn is cute and has an excellent cast (which also won awards) but does not give all these feelings, you’re there passive to watch a nice and very sweetened story, so as usual, I recommend to read the book! 

 

 

 

 

 


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