Friday, October 29, 2010

All the Pressures

My shower head was all gunky. I tried soaking it in those magic, de-gunking cleaners, but it didn't help. The hard water had corroded and clogged the little nozzles. The water flow was so limited that I think I could have ran through the garden sprinkler and had better spray to rinse the shampoo from my hair. But, don't worry; I won't.  I wouldn't want to scar the neighbor kids with that image...besides, it is a little chilly these fall days.

So...what does one do when the shower head is gunky and methods to remedy it don't work? One purchases a new shower head, of course. I will admit that I didn't do any research or review of shower heads. In fact, my purchase was honestly and truly spur of the moment. Hubs and I were in a home improvement store; he was looking a power tools; I was bored and wandered away and landed in the bathroom aisles. Rows and rows, shelves and shelves of shower heads stared at me. Each one begged to be my new geyser.

In a moment of unusual frugality, I didn't pick up the beautiful, multi-functioning rain shower head that grabbed my attention. I didn't step so far out of my own self as to buy the least expensive shower head, either. I picked up a middle-of-the-road, basic, name-brand, shower head with a jet feature to massage the kinks out of my neck. Not too expensive, not to cheap, functional. I plunked it into the cart, and Hubs paid for it with his assorted nuts, bolts, nails and other farm needs.

Installation was a breeze. With a little plumber's tape and a wrench, a gunk-free shower head was ready to drench my tiny basement shower. But, it didn't. I had already discarded the box, and don't know if in my frugal haste I purchased a low-flow shower head or what, but I STILL don't have any water pressure. That garden sprinkler is looking like a better idea all the time.

After all, I won't be needing the sprinkler for the garden anymore this year. With the threat of frost looming, Hubs and pulled out the tomatoes and peppers and zucchini and eggplant a few weeks ago. We were left with a TON of green tomatoes. (Really, a TON. I am not kidding, well maybe I am...but it seems like a ton.) I couldn't see tossing them all out and have found myself making Green Tomato Salsa and perusing recipes for Pickled Green Tomatoes.

I mentioned my green tomato predicament on Twitter (OK, maybe I whined about my green tomato predicament on Twitter), and South Dakota Magazine pulled up a recipe from their 2008 archives that was sure to fit the bill. They even posted the Green Tomato Pie recipe to their Facebook page. I guess that I also must have done a bit of whining about the green tomatoes on Facebook because two of my friends immediately shared South Dakota Magazine's link with me there. I was under pressure. Of course, I caved and made the pie. After all, what else am I going to do with all of these green tomatoes?

Doesn't the sliced green tomato look a little like a snowflake?
The pie was described as having the tartness of rhubarb, but carrying the comfortable coziness of a cinnamoned apple pie. This is a perfect description. I can just barely make out a little bite of tomato flavor while my taste buds are enveloped by the spices of fall. Hubs is in love with a friend's Rhubarb Cake, and I thought he might enjoy a slice or two of the pie. Unfortunately, his take-it-or-leave-it attitude toward apple pie prevailed. He didn't think it was horrible, but he won't be begging me to make Green Tomato Pie again. Oh well. He is fussy about his fruit desserts. I knew this going into the baking. Even if I have to eat the entire pie myself, I am under a little less pressure to do something with these green tomatoes when I have Green Tomato Pie On My Plate.

(Adapted from South Dakota Magazine and Delores Feilmeier)

Pastry for two crust pie
Six cups sliced green tomatoes
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
¼ cup lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons butter
1 egg white, beaten
additional sugar

Line nine inch pie pan with pastry crust. 
Peel and thinly slice green tomatoes.
Combine sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. 
In another bowl, combine lemon peel and lemon juice. 
Carefully toss tomato slices with the lemon juice.
Arrange tomatoes in layers in pie shell, sprinkling each layer with sugar mixture. 
Dot with butter.
For top crust, roll reserved pastry dough on lightly floured surface ¼ inch thick. 

Cut into strips, 10 x ½ inch. 
Arrange in lattice pattern over filling, moisten edges to seal strips.
Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with a little additional sugar.
Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes

Reduce oven to 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes until tomatoes are tender and crust is brown. 
*Delores says she usually uses a crumb crust on top of the pie. South Dakota Magazine used a crumb crust and a refrigerated store crust. They also omitted the nutmeg and cloves and used a teaspoon of cinnamon instead. 


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