Archive | September, 2011

Cock Fight

26 Sep

City life can be interesting, for sure. I grew up in a city-burb where neighbors knew the business of other neighbors. Fights broke out periodically over such important matters as: whose job it was to mow the six-inch grass strip or what constituted “too loud” noise levels, be it barking dogs or stereos.

Since returning to city life six years ago–albeit, a different city–my appreciation for neighbors has been mixed. On the one hand, I have a nifty neighbor who likes to raise garden produce and bake bread, as well as occasionally engage me in political discourse–something I enjoy doing, having spent my teenage and early-adult years doing such with my father.

Then, there’s the other hand. The one that tests my belief system, which expects me to rise above small matters and treat those who most anger me with patience and respect. Which, on most days, works relatively well. But, then, I hear roosters crowing and any neighborly indulgences I may have allowed no longer seem permissible.

We built a tall, wood fence to shield ourselves from this neighbor’s successive and unpredictable follies, some of which run counter to our city’s ordinances. Mind you, this neighbor has a farm. On which these and other farm animals reside. Unfortunately, this neighbor likes to run the city (and its neighbors) on her terms, and my city house has been forced to live on a farm run by farm creatures with built-in voice alarms, which run long after everyone has awaken.

Today was the second return of such animals–after a visit from our city’s animal welfare guys. And today was also the second time I played like Kaukab. Only without the Arabic-tinged expressions.

I am not proud of my outburst. Made even worse when the kids tried to coax me back from the back door during the cock fight, my neighbor yelling that middle school-tinged, “Oh, get a life!”

Ego slighty bruised, I reluctantly retreated to my kitchen. My life is full enough without roosters.

 

Summer’s Last Tomatoes

16 Sep

Leave it to Kaukab’s daughter to wait until Summer’s end to finally make some.

Don’t act like you don’t know.

But, just in case…I’ll give you a hint.

Ready?

They’re green.

And fried.

Like these:

Fried Green Tomatoes!!!

 I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I last made these. Yes, since the previous summer.

Every time I make them, I tell myself that I will make batchfuls of them on a weekly basis until all the farmers in WV have picked every last tomato. And, yet, I have made precisely one batch this entire summer. One.

Even Kaukab can’t match the amount of disappointment I have brought upon myself. At least, I don’t think she can. Could she?

On a more positive note, the tomatoes turned out perfectly. And so easy to prepare.

Here’s the recipe:

Get yourself some nice large green, or barely ripe tomatoes like these:

These were fully green when I bought them, but being the procrastinator that I am, I had waited a couple of days, allowing them to get on with their “ripening” activities. No matter. I think they actually taste better when they’ve got a few days on them. Slice them up like this:

Then, get yourself three bowls into which you’ll place flour, beaten eggs (with a little sugar and milk), and your choice of crunchy coating material such as: crushed corn flakes, oyster crackers, or panko bread crumbs. Whatever you have. I like to use the panko bread crumbs, but I was out. So, I improvised with a combination of oyster crackers and corn flakes. Your bowl set up should look something like this:

Before you start dipping and coating, get your pan ready. Into your pan, heat up some oil (I use Canola) on medium-high heat. Then dip each tomato slice first in the flour, then the eggs, then the crumbs and place gently into the hot oil, making sure that your oil doesn’t get too hot; otherwise your tomatoes will burn too quickly before giving the other side enough time to brown and soften the tomato insides. It’s a delicate balance. You may want to turn the heat down to medium once you’ve cooked the first 3 or 4 tomato slices. They’ll take a minute or slightly more on each side.

Lightly salt them once you’ve removed from the pan and placed on a paper-towel lined plate. I made a kicky sauce to go along with them. Again, I used what I had around the kitchen. In a small bowl I mixed together some: mayo, a bit of ketchup, squeeze or two of lime, dash of cayenne and garlic salt and a few drops of worstchetshire.

With about 4 large green tomatoes, we had enough to last us into the next day’s lunch and dinner meals.

Too Good To Turn Down

 

It helps to have a couple of kids (that would be the boys) who aschew anything remotely connected to fried vegetables. Unless they’re french-fried and hanging from golden arches.

Can you imagine?

Empty Tables

1 Sep

Today is just another day for this mother’s table.

Another day of circulating plates and cups. Breakfast-to-lunch-to-dinner, and any snack dish inbetween.

Today, I have a table on which meals and a whole host of stuffs will rest. Medicine for Raleigh, our cat. School work for any who will be so inclined. Garden twine for training this season’s newly-planted honeysuckle. Hubby’s various hunting and fishing magazines. A lost button.

For many in the North-and Southeast, there are no tables to provide them with the same kind of daily comfort that we expect to have each morning we awake.  Irene had other ideas.

My table’s been spared from Irene’s devastation. Today, I will count my blessings.

For those without a table, let us invite them to ours. No matter the cause.

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