At the end of each gardening season, when night temperatures drop and the tomato vines wither, a gardener's supply of scrumptuous red tomatoes comes to a halt. But many clever cooks have learned to put to good use those green tomatoes left behind on withering plants. Today, readers share recipes for some of those uses, including green tomato relish and, a perennial favorite, fried green tomatoes.
They also share recipes for rice pudding, another of those cravings folks seem to get when the temperatures start dropping.
When you have a recipe to contribute, please provide your name, address and daytime phone number. Also give the full names of any cookbooks or magazines you use, as well as the author's name and publishing company, so that we can properly credit recipes that have come from printed sources.
Although we do not have room for every recipe that has been sent in, we want to thank all who have helped us this week, including: Elsie Thompson of Walnutport, Sally M. Evans of Nazareth, Helen Litzenberger of Allentown, Ann Novatnack, Judy Burkhart and June K. Stuber, all of Bethlehem.
Among the recipes sent in by Evelyn Hart of Lower Macungie Township is one for rice pudding. ''This was my mother-in-law's recipe. Easy and delicious! If you leave out the rice, you have egg custard! This recipe must be at least 75 years old.'' Evelyn also sent in a recipe for Mrs. Hill's Fried Green Tomatoes with Cream Gravy from Marion Brown's ''Southern Cookbook,'' copyright 1968. Another rice pudding recipe comes from Wanda Dietz of Lehighton. Wanda says it was her Aunt Grace's recipe from when her aunt worked at Wycoff's in Stroudsburg. ''It's the best rice pudding I ever tasted.'' And Madelene Davis of Quakertown sent in a Baked Rice Pudding recipe that was her mother's.
More recipes for Fried Green Tomatoes come from: Nancy F. Ness of Bethlehem for Gwen Wagner of Northampton. She said they came from Fannie Flagg's ''Original Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook.'' The recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes I includes a tip to keep the cooked tomatoes from getting soggy before they are served: Stand them up like wheels in the serving dish instead of stacking them. Fried Green Tomatoes II says, ''Don't crowd the skillet when frying green tomatoes. Keep them in a single layer, with plenty of space in between slices. If too many are put in the pan, the oil temperature will be lowered and the food will absorb the grease rather than be seared by it, resulting in soggy tomatoes.'' Nancy also sent in one for Fried Green Tomatoes with Milk Gravy.
Elaine Trump of Allentown sent in recipes for Green Tomato Relish and Fried Green Tomatoes. She thought some tomato home-gardeners might want to try the relish when it's time to pull their plants out. ''I always have so many green tomatoes left on the vines and am too frugal to just throw them out.'' For the fried green tomatoes, she likes to use tomatoes that are ripening somewhat, but you can use all green tomatoes. She likes to fry to a dark brown (well done). She says it's her mother's recipe.
Lillian Swartley of Allentown sent in a recipe for H&H Creamed Spinach. ''On Nov. 13, 2002, there was an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the Automat. There were several things at the Automat which were our favorites. The creamed spinach was one of them.''
Among the recipes sent in by Violet Mandycz of Bath is one for Cherry or Apple Coffee Cake.
ICE CREAM CAKE
11/2 cups flour
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 stick butter, room temperature
Cream Cheese Layer:
2 8-oz. packages soft cream cheese
1/2 of a 16 oz. container Cool Whip (save the other half for topping)