Green tomato moment

Time really does run out. And I’m not talking about mortality — we all know that. For some things we might do or experience in life, though, a moment passes, and it is gone. The gone moment must be acknowledged.

Often I hear people saying a sentence that begins, “I coulda been a [fill in the blank].” The first time I noticed this particular construction of sentence, I was only 25 years old, and the man who said it was perhaps 40 or so and someone I worked with. Apparently, he could have been an opera singer. But he was a university development officer. Alas, though, I think he wanted us to know, and he wanted to remind himself, that there was this germ of musical potential inside him. (Interestingly, he was doing nothing to propagate this germ.)

I’m human, and I can get stuck in this thought pattern, too. I don’t dwell on not becoming a pharmacist (yup, considered that), flautist, or Boston Globe reporter, or on not reprising the Francie Nolan story. It’s more like: I could have become the kind of person who would throw the plate, sob lavishly, shout “Pick me!”, or, in a manner of speaking, dance on the table. Honestly, I don’t even know how to turn on that impulsivity switch, and I am sincere when I say that — occasionally — I wish I had become the kind of person who could.

The gone moment must be not only acknowledged, it must be acted on. One must say, “This is what I am, what I have. What will I do with this?”

Which leads me to the actual topic of this post: green tomatoes. Let’s all confront what is our garden, or our neighbor’s garden. This summer seemed to be a poor one for tomatoes. Look around and see mostly hard and green ones still hanging on the vine, with the potential, but not likelihood, of ripening into juicy red ones.

It’s October 6th. It is time to recognize the green tomatoes, pick them, and eat. Here are recipes, personally tested by me and those around me, for Green Tomato Salsa and Fried Green Tomato BLTs. Perhaps, under different conditions, they coulda been red salsa or a more basic BLT, but I dare you to say that these are not absolutely, wonderfully edible.

7 thoughts on “Green tomato moment

  1. I recommend, as a relish for your fried tomato sammiches, the Cashew Jalapeno from Flying Biscuit Cafe, in Atlanta:
    1 1/2 cups cashews
    2 red jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
    1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    3/4 cup honey
    1/3 cup white vinegar
    In a food processor, add cashews, jalapenos and cilantro and pulse just until combined. Transfer to a bowl. Add honey and vinegar and mix thoroughly.

  2. The perfect gray skirt from Banana Republic–the one you’ve reeeeeally been wanting but have been waiting for an amazing sale before you can justify buying it–is in a box with your name on it on your porch as you read is. If you didn’t just run to your front door, you either have no impulsivity switch, or you’re lying. 🙂

    I love your phrase “the gone moment.” Why make do when you could make wonderful?

  3. My heart lifted when I read the words “perfect gray skirt.” The words “in a box with your name on it” made it race. But then caution returned with “on your porch.”

    See? I can’t sustain it for long.

    Yes, we have to do more than make do. To apply this to the gray skirt theme, I am realizing that I have three pretty good ones, but I really need a wonderful one. Winter project.

  4. Your post evokes Marlon Brando in “On the Waterfront,” who speaks for many when he says, “I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum.”

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