Cheers to everyone who voted me through to round 4 of Project Food Blog! Although this is usually a family-centered blog, I thought I’d share this mommy (and daddy) friendly martini recipe, and the story that accompanies it, as a special thank-you for all the support and friendly comments I’ve received throughout this competition. After all, we all need a tasty beverage every once in a while to help us unwind after a long week. And this is one tasty beverage!
Autumn has (finally) arrived here in Georgia, though with some hesitation at times. The mornings are crisp and cool enough for a fire in the fireplace, while the afternoons are still warm enough for short-sleeves. The skies are the bluest blue, and the breezes blow gently but constantly through the poplars at the farthest reaches of our property line.
While it would seem that tomato season should have come and gone already, our scraggly looking tomato plants still cling to the hope of summer, producing blooms and (albeit small) fruit. On Sunday, the whole family was out playing in the backyard, and I happened to glance over the fence and see quite a bit of red peeking through the tangled mass of vines in the tomato plot. I headed out there with the baby, not thinking I’d harvest much. Unfortunately, most of the ripe fruit was actually overripe to the point of decay, or so worm infested that I just threw it over the back fence in disgust. However, the green fruit was abundant, and I decided to gather it rather than allowing it to rot on the vine. Surely I could do something with it.
|The life of a pickled green tomato
I ended up having to call my husband back there to take the baby from me because I couldn’t hold him and gather tomatoes at the same time. Once I had both hands free, I gathered up the hem of my shirt and began stashing tomatoes in there by the handful. I pulled every green tomato I could find – both of the beefsteak and the cherry variety – and ended up with a couple of pounds total.
|Green hickory nuts from our neighbor’s tree
As I gathered the last of the summer tomatoes in the clear Autumn sunlight, the breeze sloughing through the leaves, the distinct sound of hickory nuts being blown to the ground, I was overcome by an intense feeling of what can only be described as ancestral memory – this intense longing and need to salvage every last bit of food produced on your land and store it up for the harsh winter months is certainly not something that most of us in today’s industrialized and commercialized society know anything about. I had no actual need
for these tiny, hard, green tomatoes, but I felt somehow guilty at the thought of leaving them to rot on the vine. This was perfectly good potential food, and I needed to treat it as such. The plants still have quite a few blooms on them, but I doubt they’ll mature much more given the significantly lower nighttime temperatures.
I debated the merits of relish vs. salsa vs. pickles when it came to these little green fruit. Ultimately, I landed on pickling as my preservation of choice, simply because it allows me to leave the fruit intact. I chose this recipe from whiteonricecouple that seemed simple enough. The end product was remarkably olive-like in flavor (both the brine and the fruit) which is what led me to the dirty martini spin on this post (dirty martinis happen to be a weakness of mine).
Dirty Green Tomato Martini
5 parts Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 part dry Vermouth
Splash (or more) of Brine from Pickled Green Tomatoes
Three Pickled Green Tomatoes
Place ice in a mixing vessel
And vermouth. Stir to combine.
Pour through a strainer into a chilled martini glass
Garnish with three pickled tomatoes – use your favorite cocktail skewer for a bit of whimsy (these were from my grandparents’ collection).
Imbibe and Enjoy!!
Thank you again for all your votes and support. I’ll be posting my entry for round 4 this weekend, and voting opens again on Monday, October 11.