One of my mother's favorite Depression-era recipes was her green tomato pie. Back in Illinois, where I grew up, we ate quite a lot of green tomatoes, usually in the fall, before the first freeze killed the vines. Now, gardening in Texas, I make Mom's green tomato pie in July, because the nighttime temperatures are too warm for the fruit to set.
The pie begins with thin-sliced green tomatoes, peeled and cored (green tomatoes often have a bitter core). Just for the heck of it, I added a couple of sliced zucchini. I sauteed the slices in butter, mixed them with lemon juice, sugar, salt, spices, and flour, and put them into an unbaked crust, topped with pastry. Bill (who generally prefers his tomatoes sauced and won't eat a zucchini unless he doesn't know what it is) thought I had baked him an apple pie. It didn't last long.
Mom's Green Tomato Pie
3 1/2 c. peeled and sliced green tomatoes
3 tbsp. butter or margarine
6 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
Saute the tomatoes in the butter and lemon juice until just tender. Combine tomatoes with sugar, flour, salt and spices. Line 9" pie pan with pastry, pour in filling, dot with butter and cover with top crust. Bake at 450 degrees 10 minutes then reduce to 350 degrees and bake until crust is brown (about 35-40 minutes).
Book Report. I'm moving forward with The Darling Dahlias & the Eleven O'Clock Lady--chapters 13-15 this week. I'm hoping to be finished by the end of this month. (If it seems to you that I've been working on this forever, not so. I began it in mid-May. It just seems like a long time, to you and me both.) I'm also making daily entries for another Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days, which I'm planning to author-publish in 2015, if all goes well. In this, I'm following in the tradition of acclaimed journal writer May Sarton, one of my heroes.
Reading note: If you want to write, if you want to create, you must . . . write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy head.--Ray Bradbury