Even though my sweet sister Jennie lives in Georgia,
we have yet to visit the Whistle Stop Café north of Macon where they serve up these delightful fried treats.
This is not the OG Whistle Stop Café I am told.
This is the set where the 1991 movie Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed and then turned into a restaurant.
However, there is a café in Alabama where the author Fannie Flagg grew up and based her story on in the movie.
Me and my mother
If you’ve never seen it, this restaurant is a main component of a sweet movie that I’ll recommend to you mostly because it’s centered around a woman mentoring a younger woman. Now isn’t that great? Aren’t you so appreciative for all of the wonderful role models of amazing women in your life? I know I am.
Me and my grandmother
The two main characters are set in current time (of 1991 mind you) and the older woman tells wonderful stories from the past that inspire and encourage the younger woman through all of life’s struggles.
Me and my Aunty Tessy
Hmm, the voice of wisdom from our elders who’ve been there and done that are sometimes missed but should probably be more revered.
I, my friends have been to neither of these two establishments but still have a huge love for the title food of this southern drama.
While it may be depicted as a southern fried food,
I am proclaiming that it is actually a country farmhouse food that anyone who grows tomatoes
(or is able to purchase a green variety)
can claim it as their own.
And that’s the category I fall in.
The next thought you might have, or not, is what is a green tomato?
Well, it is an under ripe tomato.
But goodness sakes, why would you pick one under ripe?
It’s all I can do to wait all spring for these wonderful orbs of goodness to ripen so that I can dig into its sweet tastiness by summer.
Truly, the best time to pick em green is when the weather turns cooler in the fall.
You’ll still have your vine full of maters,
but because of the waning warm sun, they’ll never reach their ripest potential.
So, pick em’ green,
fry em’ up, and enjoy.
Now for the good part, here is my recipe for fried green tomatoes.
They are tart, a tiny bit sweet, salty and oh so crispy.
Eat them just like that or top them with a little buttermilk dip for a cool and tangy little something extra.
I hope you enjoy them, especially if you’ve never had them before.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do.
I hope you have someone special that loves to tell you stories from their past and maybe you might pass on all of their wisdom too, to the next generation.
Until next time friends,
Towanda to you all!
(Watch the movie and you’ll get it)
P.S. Here is my Farmhouse Recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes. It has a little bit of my Italian American heritage influence and also being that I was born and raised here, a little regional California flavor too!
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES
3/4c self rising flour
1/4 c Polenta (Italian style corn meal, it’s a little coarser than regular corn meal)
1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/2 tsp fresh minced thyme
3/4 cup buttermilk plus an extra splash
3-4 green tomatoes sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
Olive oil for frying
- Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, granulated garlic, thyme and buttermilk together. Add a splash more of buttermilk to thin batter out a bit for a consistency of thick pancake batter.
- Heat 2 inches of oil in a skillet until hot enough to fry (about 365 degrees)
- Watch heat. Cool down if it gets hotter than 365 degrees so they won’t burn.
- Dip tomato slices into batter, letting excess drip back into the bowl.
- Put dipped slices immediately into the frying pan.
- Fry 4-5 tomato slices at a time for 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown.
- Transfer to a cooling rack to drain.
- Set slices layered like a pin wheel on a platter.
- Mix a couple of heaping spoons of mayonnaise into a bowl and mix with a little bit of the buttermilk to thin into a creamy and oh so yummy buttermilk dip.
- Serve hot and crisp with dip in center and a sprinkling of fresh thyme over all of it.