Fried Green Tomatoes

I was short on inspiration this morning, but I finally settled on stuffed chard to cook at the farm workday. I led a group of San José State students out into the field to pick chard; they were struck by the fact that we were picking weeds to eat for lunch, and a bit taken aback when I picked a mizuna leaf and popped it into my mouth.

I made a filling with baby chard leaves, onions and rice, but I put too much water into it, so in the end, we drained out some filling to use in the steamed leaves, and left the rest in the pot as a kind of chard rice soup.

Ditti (I hope I’ve got her name right) helped me.

One of the tasks today was ripping out the tomatoes from the original plot. This produced an enormous compost pile of vines (shown here with Annie and Todd for scale)

and afterward, I was vouchsafed a large bucket of green tomatoes

and decided to add fried green tomatoes to the menu. We had a large group of volunteers today, so more food was needed. I dredged them in masa harina, since I didn’t have any plain cornmeal, and salt and pepper, then fried them in corn oil. Then at lunch, I lectured everyone on why Pluto isn’t a planet.

And speaking of oil, I went to Mission San José yesterday

to buy olive oil from nuns in Christmas sweaters.

I was in this line of people for 45 minutes waiting to get to the little room on the right with the oil. It’s harvested from the trees at the mission and at the nuns’ chapterhouse just behind, then pressed and bottled in Manteca. Although it was only on sale yesterday morning (and maybe today, if there was any left) it’s actually last year’s oil. This year’s harvest is the morning of 5 December, and the public is welcome. I am even more likely to go if I can take some olives home for myself and cure them, but I’ll probably go, anyway.