Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Small Town Unwittingly Leads Annoying Food Trend

11.14.12 King George, VA-When King George residents Peggy, June and Kristin were faced with an enormous surplus of green tomatoes, they knew something had to be done. And with the 2012 surging popularity of canning with publication of books such as Putting Up and Put ’em Up they knew just what to do.

In a recent trend, more and more people like Peggy have been preserving some fruits and vegetables from the warmer months rather than following the traditional route of leaving them to rot and then going to a grocery store to buy some from Florida and Peru. And for many this means staring down the latest CSA delivery or a bike ride to the farmers’ market, where they get preserving tips, Chioggia Beets, Black Valentine Tomatoes and maybe some Warted Hubard Squash. Not so for Peggy who routinely walks all five blocks of Fairview Beach for exercise and saw the neglected green tomatoes in a neighbor’s yard.

Of the discovery Peggy explained, ‘I mean they’re free. That’s cheaper than Bj’s with a coupon.’

She immediately rushed home to her landline and phoned June, also of Fairview Beach who said of their harvest, ‘There were so many tomatoes and we hated to leave them and just couldn’t stop picking them. It seems like too much to me, but Peggy says if you’re going to the trouble to set canning up, you may as well clean up the whole neighborhood.’

‘If I’m gonna make a mess with canning, I want to have enough to give some as gifts,’ Peggy explained. And Peggy won’t be the only one to be giving such fashionable gifts this year. According to recent analysis by sociologists, many self-identified hipsters, foodies, and some of the one third of Americans who are not obese are canning vegetables and donning them with decorative fabric for the holiday season.

Kristin, who is known for her ways with mountains of produce from her days in catering was called in to chop peppers and and help with the canning. She enthusiastically joined the effort noting, ‘as a chef who’s never owned a restaurant and professional journalist who has never published anything for pay, I feel I should stay on top of what’s new and shaking in the food world on my little blog. Just the other day I made artisanal sandwiches with homemade bread and unexpected ingredients like truffle oil, and have a hybridization of a pizza and a burrito in R&D. I’m always trying to come up with something new, so stay tuned!’

When asked of her mother-in-law’s progressive preservation practices Kristin added, ‘clearly Peggy and many of us here in King George are at the cusp of the foraging movement. These tomatoes are indigenous to Northern Virginia and therefor are modified-fish-DNA-free. Read it and weep Monsanto! We have 50 jars of this stuff and we’ll easily get through the winter making hip flatbreads and banh mi with these.’

Particularly trendy were the stained recipe and heirloom pots, pans and funnels. When asked about her role in such an emerging trend Peggy seemed puzzled, simply saying ‘At this time of year those tomatoes will never ripen and will freeze the first night the temperature drops, so it’s time to can them.’

Aside from a metric ton of green tomatoes, the take away for Kristin: ‘A lot of people are into canning right now, so I should totally get blog hits,’ she said as she pulled out her smartphone. ‘Omygod, for real? Do I seriously have to wait to get an iPhone to post this? Droid sucks.’

Approximately 1000 pounds of green tomatoes were saved from the season’s first frost this year in King George

Peggy Myruski led the pickling effort

Recent trend analysis shows many Americans are suddenly and annoyingly joining a trend in canning that has been growing in places like Fairview Beach for the last 60 to 150 years

Pickled green tomatoes grace a cheddar melt in yet another digression from area woman’s diet plan, but oh so nummm


Pickled Green Tomatoes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


2 qt green tomatoes, sliced
3 Tbsp salt
2 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
3 cup onion, sliced
2 bell peppers, red or otherwise, chopped


- mix tomatoes and salt and let stand 12 hours then drain
- heat vinegar, sugars, spices; bring to a boil, add onions and allow to simmer 2-3 minutes
- add tomatoes and peppers and allow to simmer 2-3 minutes more
- pack into jars and be sure to cover vegetables with syrup
- seal with hot self sealing lids; when they make a popping sound and the top of the lid is indented downward, the jar is sealed

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