Growing up in the South and also in the country is a double whammie when it comes to being attached to tomatoes. I remember as a little girl how my Daddy would grow the biggest tomatoes and tomato bushes that I had ever seen. The days of playing in and out of the garden poles still sticks in my mind today. Once I became a teenager I was still amazed at my Daddy’s ability to grow the best tomatoes around. I had such a love for the garden and plants until I just had to sign up for Horticulture at school just so I could get even closer to the hobby that I learned from my family. I learned a lot at school but nothing could compare to my Daddy’s teaching on tomatoes.
In our family, we absolutely loved tomatoes. We put little tiny cherry tomatoes in our green salads, we had them sliced in our dagwood sandwiches and we always had that southern favorite of fried green tomatoes. Yum yum yum! It didn’t matter how we ate them just as long we had them to eat.
Tips on Daddy’s Tomatoes
Daddy always planted his tomatoes in the sunniest spot that he could. He usually picked a spot that got at lease 7 hours of sunshine. Daddy always said that the more sun you had the more flavors that would be in the tomato.
Many people fertilized with rotten manure but Daddy would always dig a big hole in between the tomatoes that would fit a 5 gal. bucket in it. He would take the bucket and drill a few tiny little holes in the side of it. He would then fill the bucket with a bit of granulated fertilizer and allow the rain to fill the bucket. When the rain water went inside it would melt the fertilizer and it would seep very very slowly out of the little holes that Daddy punched in the sides of the bucket. This was also an excellent way to make sure that the plants got plenty of water at a gradual pace.
Daddy always babied his tomatoes too. He made sure there was plenty of mulch at the base of each tomato plant. He said that this would give any tomatoes a nice soft landing if any of them fell off the vine too.
Daddy’s tomatoes were always around 8 and 10 feet tall and who knows how wide! They were green as green could be and the stalks looks like I was looking at beanstalks for Jack to climb up! Daddy always made sure his tomatoes had lots of supports to hold the heavy limbs all the way up to the top of each of them. Daddy’s tomatoes were quite a site to see and even quite a site to see on the dinner plate too.
Fried Green Tomatoes
Daddy always loved a homemade biscuit and a slice of tomato. He thought it was the best. Mother could cook up the best friend green tomatoes around too. I loved to eat them in a biscuit like Daddy did…. But I had to have ranch dressing pored in mine as well. Daddy never did that. And ooooh you really must try a slice of green fried tomato in a hamburger!
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup self-rising flour
6 green tomatoes cut into slices
Bacon drippings or vegetable oil if you have to
½ cup cornmeal
½ tsp salt
Mix your egg and buttermilk in a dish. Mix the flour, cornmeal and salt in another dish. Slice your green tomatoes and put them in a dish as well. Now you want to work in an assembly line fashion. Take 1 slice of tomato and dip in egg mixture, allowing excess to drip back into the bowl. Then dip it in the flour and cornmeal mixture by pressing down slightly to make sure you get a really good coat on it. Fry in hot oil and we like to use a heavy cast iron skillet to cook it in. Cook until brown turning only once. Take out and let drain in a colander or just place over paper towel to soak up the extra oil. Serve with a nice southern supper!
Those hard times in the garden are all behind us now. We tend to stick to a beautiful patio garden now-ah-days where we grow smaller versions of tomatoes in decorative flower pots. Those turn out very good too. You follow the same rules that you would if you planted them in the garden. Plant them in a nice sunny spot that gets at least 7 hours of sunshine. You can control the water better in a patio garden and sometimes you may tend to over water instead of under water when in a pot. Daddy always said that too much water would dilute the flavor of the tomato.
You can plant the tomato in very beautiful containers when placed on your patio so it accents the look of your patio instead of hinder it. There’s nothing more beautiful than a nice cherry tomato plant that is just covered in clusters of cherry red tomatoes. It’s just as beautiful as a pot full of blooming flowers I assure you. You can grow yellow and orange tomatoes also so you will never be without lots of beautiful colors in your patio garden. Stick a few pots of herbs and your all set to go for the best meals around.
by: Pamela Price Svoboda
Tomatoes, tomatoes, juicy and sweet-
Give me some salt and were ready to eat-
Sliced it or chop it or pepper it down.
Doesn’t matter which color just pass it around.
The article above is written by Pamela Price Svoboda.
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Facts About Tomatoes
Tomato - Often called the love apple. Contrary to popular belief, the tomato received this appellation not because it was originally considered an aphrodisiac, but because of a hearing problem. The Spanish brought the tomato back from the New World and called it 'manzana' or apple because that is what they thought it was. Early tomatoes were yellow, so Italians called them pomo d'or - apple of gold. Around that time, tomatoes, like eggplant, were thought by some to be poisonous, because they happen to be botanical members of the nightshade family, which includes some toxic relatives. So, to disassociate the tomato from its poisonous reputation, the Italians changed the name to pomo d'Moro (apple of the Moors, of the Spanish). Later, a Frenchman touring Italy asked for the name of this unusual ingredient and misunderstood it to be pomme d'amour - love apple. The misnomer rapidly spread throughout Europe and became synonymous with the juicy red fruit ever since. It is not, however, considered to be the source of Adam's temptation, as many armchair theorists would have you believe.