Two things I did this past weekend: Pull up all my tomato plants, filling a table in the garage with the hard green orbs (and a few slightly pink ones), and pick up a copy of Harriet Fasenfest’s book, A Householder’s Guide to the Universe: A Calendar of Basics For the Home and Beyond.
Now, for the tomatoes, I finally gave up hope. Our rainy, cold summer eventually yielded bunches of ripe, juicy tomatoes, most of them in September. I wanted to hold out for more, but given the weather report for the next 3,534 days…rain, rain, rain…I decided to suck it up and pull the plants before I had to do it in a down pour.
As for the book, well, I’d read an article about Harriet Fasenfest in the Jan/Feb issue of Portland Woman Magazine (You can see the whole article online here). In the article, Fasenfest elaborates on the term householding:
“The word householding resonated with me in a way that homemaking did not,” explains Fasenfest. “You see, I was not just in my home but in my garden, not just gardening for food but caring for the soil, not just caring for the soil but caring about the earth, the water, the microbiology and infinite interrelatedness of the universe.”
This struck a cord with me. I hadn’t heard anyone addressing this way of life outside of homemaking. I loved it. Yet, life is busy, yes? So, it took me from February to last weekend to actually get a copy of that book into my hands!
As it turns out, the timing couldn’t have been better. Fasenfest organizes the book in calendar style, addressing the concerns for each season. Naturally, as it was the first of October, I opened to that month and scanned for advice. This is where I came across a recipe for Green Tomato Sauce! With a whole table of freshly picked green tomatoes lying in wait, I wasted no time filling a pot with the ingredients!
Here’s what you do:
Peel a large bulb of garlic and sauté the cloves in ½ cup of olive oil being careful not to burn them.
5 lbs diced green tomatoes (skins on) and mix well with garlic.
1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (or more to taste)
2.5 cups white wine
.5 cup pickled pepperoncini
Mix together and cook until reduced to thick sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
She also suggests adding bacon or pancetta to the pot, if you’d like. And gives ideas on how to use it: as a pizza sauce, in a pork and hominy stew, in lasagne.
I stirred up a big batch of this sauce last night in the midst of marathon cooking for the week. Just the aroma of something cooking with 10 cloves of garlic in it is enough to send you to the moon. I didn’t have any bacon handy, or else I might have added some.
Since homemade pizza was on the menu for the week (I try to prep most, if not all, my cooking for the week on Monday nights), I whipped up some dough and layered the green tomato sauce on (they’re scheduled to cook tomorrow, so I’ll have to get back to you on the taste). I did sample a small bowl of sauce poured over rice and it was very tasty. I added a bit more crushed red pepper because I like things spicy. Mmmm. Good stuff.
So, if you still have green tomatoes and are wondering what to do with them, (and have a hard time waiting for them to ripen on their own) here’s another idea. (I mean, a person can only eat so many fried green tomatoes!)
I’m going to reserve some of that sauce for the pork and hominy stew, as I make it from time to time, and think the flavor of the sauce would be a great compliment. I think it would also taste great in a Mexican soup dish. Or pureed and used as a green sauce for enchiladas. Oh, the ideas are limitless!
Here’s to good food!
(In case you’re wondering, I never received any money or merchandise to write this post. The opinions are mine and I have not been paid for them. However, if you buy the book by following the above link, I’ll receive a few cents (literally). Those pennies are NOT enough to buy my opinion. Just for the record. And I’m thrilled to have discovered Green Tomato Sauce!)