green tomatoes, red socks, and a white dog, plus libraries of many hues

For those of you following...

First, and most importantly, Tala. She is doing really well! After our last trip to Guelph, we added on a second medication, one designed to specifically target nerve pain. We had to give that several weeks to kick in, with Tala confined to her pen except to relieve herself.

After a few weeks, we increased her activity a tiny bit - and the pain and lameness returned almost immediately. I was very discouraged, but the vet said we were on the low end of the dosages, and could safely increase. Et voila, that did the trick. With the increased medication, we've been able to step up Tala's on-leash walking time a tiny bit each week, and she's doing great. We're up to ten minutes, three times daily.

When I say she's doing well, of course that's in context of her overall condition. No off-leash play, no stairs, no squirrel-chasing. But given all that, this is a big improvement. She's in good spirits, except for those sad moments when Allan drives off with Diego to the dog park.

The gardenette. After harvesting almost 60 tomatoes from our two plants, we waited for the second tomato crop to ripen. And waited, and waited. It's autumn now in southern Ontario - the most beautiful time of year here - and the only thing turning red are the leaves.

We have about 40 or 50 green tomatoes on the vine. Does anyone have any green tomato recipes? I don't cook things that are breaded and fried, so fried green tomatoes are out. Most of the other green tomato recipes I've seen are for chutney, salsa, or pickles - not much interest in those. I did find one recipe for green tomato soup, made with ham. That's a possibility. Please let me know if you have any others.

Three reasons I love Whole Foods: raw kale salad with sundried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, cranberries and pine nuts, spinach sauteed in garlic with almonds and pine nuts, carrot-parsnip pan-fried cakes. Sure, I could cook these myself, but: (a) I won't, (b) if I did, they wouldn't taste as good, and (c) I would never spend the time and effort involved to make such a variety of vegetable dishes. The great variety really helps me eat healthier.

Trials of a student librarian. Both my courses this term aim for practical knowledge directly relevant to librarianship. There's theory involved, but only to the extent that it informs practice. This is great for me (and I won't be so lucky next term).

One course is a required: Introduction to Bibliographic Control, also known as cataloging, although it's broader than that. I expected this to be dry and boring, but for someone who's compulsively organized and loves to create systems, there's a definite appeal. Cataloging is apparently something people think is very easy and intuitive - until they try to do it themselves. That's when the complexities and challenges emerge. The assignments are designed for hands-on experience, which will be a nice change from research papers, essays or tests.

My other course is an elective: The Public Library in Culturally Diverse Communities. Although I confess I originally chose this class to make my schedule workable, it's obviously very relevant to my future work, especially since I have my sights on the Mississauga Library System. The professor is an expert in the field, and was a pioneer of multicultural library-service design in Canada.

The Red Sox. September has not been pretty for the Boston Red Sox and their devoted fans. On September 1, the Sox were 1.5 games ahead of the Yankees in the American League East, and nine games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays. Today, September 20, the Red Sox trail the Yankees by a full five games and are only two games ahead of the Rays in the wild card race, with eight games left to play.

What little winning the team has done has left fans elated; number of runs scored in September's five wins: 12, 14, 18, 4, 18. In between those crazy moments of happiness have been some terrible, dispiriting losses. Still, I remain convinced that the Red Sox will be in the playoffs, one way or the other.


Stephanie said...

This recipe for Green tomato pizza sounds yummy. Forget making the dough and buy it already made. Or you could use a roll of frozen puff pastry or even greek pita etc. etc.

I also LOVE this traditional French recipe for tomato tart . I would simply substitute green tomatoes. You can vary up the pastry too. Bake it on your favorite fresh bread or frozen dough. I first tried this in a frozen pie shell. It is super simple and delicious. You can vary up add-ons too. Excellent with kalamata olives for example.

Finally I would simply make a green tomato salad with fennel or basil and dressed with a quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sherry vinegar and a little salt & pepper to taste.

As for the tomatoes on the vine, you might consider picking them all and as you work through them some may ripen (store in cool dry place, of course - not the fridge).

Stephanie said...

I forgot to say that I am also really, really happy that you and Tala are finding some relief and that from the sounds of your courses the Fall term is going to be stimulating for you.

allan said...

Running the rest of the season through computer simulations 1,000,000 times tells us that the Red Sox have a 90.7% chance of making the playoffs.

(Of course, this year could be one of the 9.3% of years, but the odds are clearly on our side. The other two teams in the race, Tampa Bay and New York, play each other 7 times in the next 9 days, so one of those teams will be losing every night. That helps.)

To listen to the Boston media, you would think they had a 90.7% of NOT making it. But "doom and gloom" is what the Boston sports media lives for, so they are secretly (or not so secretly, some of them) loving this 5-14 September slide.

laura k said...

Stephanie, thank you so much for the cooking ideas! I've never eaten raw green tomatoes, but we love basil, also fresh veggie salads, so I'll give it a try. The pizza and tart ideas are great, and I never would have thought of them - outside of my usual type of cooking. I'm going to try at least one of these, probably more.

And of course thank you for the good wishes. I hope your gang is well, too. Maybe we'll see each other over the winter break.

Stephanie said...

Maybe we'll see each other over the winter break.

There is great potential for a visit then. :)

Amy said...

So glad to hear Tala is doing better since I last asked just recently. That's wonderful news.

Your courses sound interesting, especially the second. Having spent the evening talking to a potential library director, I am now really interested in what is taught in library school.

And as for the Red Sox.....no comment. Allan's statistics are encouraging, but I live day to day with baseball.

(Sorry---no ideas for your tomatoes. Cooking is outside of my areas of expertise!)

laura k said...

Thank you Amy!

Hey all, we just picked all the green tomatoes and counted them: 93!

Ferdzy said...

93! Ha, that's a lot!

Any that have even a sign of blush of colour will probably ripen if you leave them long enough.

Meantime, here's another recipe for you.


Glad to hear Tala is feeling better.

laura k said...

Ferdzy, I was hoping you'd show up! I was going to email you the link if you didn't. :)

Those 93 green tomatoes are in addition to the 60+ ones that ripened earlier in the summer. All from two little tomato plants.

But of those 93, only 1 has any sign of red.

impudent strumpet said...

Have you tried putting the tomatoes a paper bag to see if they turn red? It seems like it would work, but I've never actually tried it.

laura k said...

Have you tried putting the tomatoes a paper bag to see if they turn red?

I've never heard of that. What is it supposed to do?

The only thing I know about paper bags is breathing into one to stop hyperventilating. Doesn't seem to apply here. :)

Stephanie said...

The key to the paper bag trick is to add to the bag a ripe piece of fruit like a banana.The ripe fruit give off the hormone ethylene. This trick is often recommended to
ripen stubborn avocados

Ethylene is said to be behind the idiom"one bad apple spoils the whole bunch".

hhw said...

I have ripened completely green tomatoes in a paper bag -- it definitely does work. I don't think I put anything else in with them, which may be why it took a couple of weeks. I'll be using the same strategy again this weekend.

I'm jealous of your total count! I've barely cracked 2 dozen from 3 plants, most of those cherry tomatoes, thanks to the squirrels helping themselves.

laura k said...

Very interesting, thanks for the info! We're going to try it.

I was wondering where we would find a paper bag - we don't have them lying around the house - but Allan thought of using a big yard waste bag. We'll scrunch down the top.

Maybe we can try one with a banana and one without, a small experiment.

And I'll still have plenty left to make green tomato soup and pizza.

impudent strumpet said...

Paper bags come from the LCBO! If you're using a reusable bag, get them to put the bottles in individual paper bags anyway so they don't break.

johngoldfine said...

Aren't you far enough out in the heartland that you have paper sacks instead of 'bags'? Tomatoes ripen equally well in either in my experience.

laura k said...

Imp Strump, thanks, never would have thought of that! We always use our own bags.

John, we are pretty far away from any heartland. No paper sacks here. Pop, yes. Sacks, no.