Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tomatoes, Southern style

Do you think this is a problem at all?

Would you think it was a problem if I told you this was only half of what's currently been picked?

Yeah. I know. To our credit, we have been selling quite a lot of them, but it's still a little daunting. And I still haven't canned any of them because I keep using up all the ripest ones in our dinners. There was a gorgeous shrimp fra diavolo the other day. And last night there was this:

Let's call it One Local Summer meal #6. Despite its simplicity, it was actually one of the best meals I've made in ages. For one thing, I make a damn fine biscuit; I use Deborah Madison's recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, but I substitute half of the white flour with soft whole-wheat flour. Knead exactly twice. Use a sharp cutter. They come out fluffy and layery every time.

And the country ham was possibly the best I've ever had. Let's face it: there is a lot of really nasty, dry, oversalted, rancid-tasting country ham out there. But this stuff was outstanding. The package recommended frying it with a little bit of diluted Coca-cola in the pan. Since I didn't have that on hand, I added a dash of unbleached organic sugar to the water. Excellent. And very quickly devoured.

The okra was our first of the season and, as such, even more appreciated than usual!

Okra and tomatoes - our own
Vidalia onions - Vidalia, Ga. (130 miles)
Louisiana pepper sauce, salt, and pepper - elsewhere

Center-sliced country ham - Clifty Farm, Paris, Tenn. (450 miles, but don't I get some credit for an indigenous southern specialty?)
Sugar - elsewhere

Red Mule soft wheat flour - Athens, Ga. (35 miles)
Southern Biscuit flour - Newton, N.C. (240 miles)
Buttermilk - Peeler Farm, Starr, S.C. (68 miles)
Baking powder, baking soda, butter, salt - elsewhere