Monday, 29 October 2018

Fried Green Tomatoes and the £1 Wardrobe Saviour



When it started snowing on Saturday morning I came to the sudden realisation that this year's tomato crop definitely wasn't going to ripen any time soon and rushed outside to rescue them from frostbite. So what do you do with a glut of unripened tomatoes? You could do the conventional thing and knock up some chutney but, if you're anything like us, it'll just end up festering in the back of the cupboard. Pacha Thakkali Mezhkkupuratti (South Indian style sautéed green tomatoes) is, in our opinion, a far better and tastier alternative.

1 kg diced green tomatoes
3 finely chopped red onions
6 cloves chopped garlic
6 sliced green chillies
Sprig of curry leaves (fresh or dried depending on what's available)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp sambar powder (I used a dollop of brown sauce!)
Salt
4 tbsp veg oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1. Heat oil in large pan and splutter mustard seeds
2. Add onions, chillies, garlic and curry leaves. Sauté until onion is translucent
3.Add turmeric, cumin and sambar powder (or brown sauce) and stir fry for a minute
4. Add chopped green tomatoes. Sprinkle salt on top, cover and cook on a medium heat for around 10 minutes
5.When tomatoes become soft remove the lid and increase heat. Sauté for 3 - 4 minutes until liquid has almost evaporated.
6. Serve with rice or wholemeal chapati.


It freezes well so you can adjust the quantity depending on how many tomatoes you've got.


Who remembers these jumpers? If, like me, you were around in the 1970s, you'll no doubt have owned a few of these.  Growing up I didn't have a winter wardrobe, I wore thick tights and ribbed polo necks under my summer dresses. Clothes weren't cheap back then and although most of my clothes either came from jumble sales or were hand-me-downs from the older daughters of Mum's friends or work colleagues, she liked me to get as much wear as possible from my garments.


I found the vintage polo neck pictured above in the charity clearance shop for £1. It's the first one I've found that hasn't got a St Michael label but, just like good old M&S back in the day, it was made in Great Britain.


I bought this '70s colour blocked maxi dress from a neighbouring stall at August's Classic Car Boot Sale, I'd only worn it once over the Summer and was reluctant to pack it away just yet so, taking inspiration from my Mum, I've maximised the number of times I can wear it by wearing my new-to-me polo neck underneath. What are the chances of finding a perfect match to that zingy coral coloured centre panel?

1970s colour blocked maxi and polo neck jumper worn with a wool felt hat (bought last winter from a charity shop)) and a vintage Moroccan enamel pendant (bought from Vintage Village at Stockport Market Hall, 2014)



'Cos it's bastard freezing at the moment, I also added thermal leggings (bought new from the British Heart Foundation for £3) and a coat when I left the house today.




In other news,we traded in leafy Hampstead in London with Pop Up Vintage yesterday. The magnificent venue, the Neo-Gothic St Stephen's Church, was consecrated in 1869 but fell into disuse in the late 1970s. It was occupied by squatters for a number of years until it was awarded a combined National Lottery and English Heritage grant in 1999. It is now run by a trust made up of members of the Hampstead community including, amongst others, Dame Judy Dench.


Although Dame Judy didn't grace us with her presence, one of yesterday's customers was an actor currently starring in a BBC prime time drama. The fair was so good that we've broken our rule of not trading in December (or mentioning the C word so early) to go back and join Pop-Up Vintage for the Xmas Extravaganza at St Stephen's on 9th December. We've also booked our India flights and our first nights' accommodation...yay!



We've got this weekend off and we're looking forward to resurrecting our almost extinct social life, the fun starts at Wetherspoons on Wednesday lunchtime. Watch out Walsall!

Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday and The Style Crone, Judith's Hat Attack #64

65 comments:

  1. Yep - had several of those polo necks, I too wore them under summer dresses and also under my school shirt.

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    1. I'd forgotten about wearing them under the school shirt - I did that, too! xxx

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  2. Yes, I remember those polo necks, courtelle was great stuff, not itchy!!! I got a pretty blue - ish crimplene dress and I plan to wear thermal vests and a polo neck along with thick tights.

    I cooked loads of our tomatoes when they were green, they are delicious.

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    1. I agree with you about the Courtelle not being itchy, the commenters that said it was are all non-Brits so I'm wondering if they're confusing it with another synthetic!
      I love green tomatoes, they're so sharp and tasty. xxx

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  3. You look gorgeous in that maxi dress. The matching vintage polo neck was a fabulous find as well. Well done to have found bought of them! Styling summer dress with tights and polonecks is a great idea. I like to get as much wear out of my summer clothes as well, that is why I haven't packed them away yet- at least that's what I say to myself. I could also be slightly lazy when it comes to organizing my closet.

    Your recipe for green tomatoes sounds great. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I don't blame you for putting off the closet re-organisation, it is a daunting task. Layers are the lazy girl's solution! xxx

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  4. I'm delighted to hear that your trading weekend was such a success.

    I've got one of those roll necks in my store right now. Yours looks perfect under that bold dress.

    I also love to wear my maxi dresses with layers underneath as long as the snow doesn't become an issue, otherwise the dress gets filthy. I'm hoping we have no snow till December...fingers crossed.

    I still haven't started my closet switchover. I started with my coats and became too exhausted to continue the task. I need to be in the right frame of mind to tackle it.

    That recipe looks great! Now if I just had some green tomatoes.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne
      A wet trailing hem is never a good thing! That's when my mini skirts usually come into play. I'm hoping we don't see any more snow until at least January - I can't bear the stuff! xxx

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  5. Congratulations on your weekend! Fingers crossed that the 9th December event is equally successful.

    Love your maxi dress even more with the red turtleneck under it. ��. Polo neck in the U.S. traditionally has been a basic bound, knit neckband (think t-shirt neckband), followed by a mock-up the neck, which is a shaped band extending about one to two inches (2.5 to 5 cm) up the neck. That is followed by a turtleneck, which is a close-fitting, longer band that folds over one or more times, such as the one you are wearing.

    Not sure if anyone actually differentiates between the styles now. Although, when I hear a mock-turtleneck called a "mock neck," my silly brain frequently wonders if the person or the garment has a faux neck! lol

    Whatever the neckline is called, the vintage jumper you bought is lovely and perfect with your dress!

    Hope you and Jon enjoy your breathing space. Have a feeling you are subconcisubcon on the hunt, even when you are relaxing!


    Taja

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    1. Taja, I love your comments, I always learn so much from them.A mock-neck is hilarious and a mock turtleneck sounds like the creature in Alice in Wonderland.
      Your polo neck sounds like what we call a crew neck, the turtleneck is next (stands up but doesn't fold over). Some UK people call polo necks "roll necks". Same language, so many differences!
      Our breathing space has become a frenzy of decorating. I've shifted the furniture and Jon's painted the landing today! xxx

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  6. Thank you for the recipe, Vix - we grow our own tomatoes in Summer and always end up with green ones we have to pick before the frost, it sounds delicious! That sweater and dress look perfect together.

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    1. My pleasure, Alli! If you make it hope you enjoy it as much as we do. xxx

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  7. These tops + black tights are a huge look again right now (modeled after Fran Drescher in "The Nanny" sitcom from the 90s). I am very familiar with throwing a turtleneck on under a summer dress from my childhood too!

    I love this gorgeous dress on you, Vix! What a stunner. SNOW??? Whoa...

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    1. I've just googles Fran Drescher in The Nanny, how fab was she!
      Snow, I know! It's been so cold this week, I'm glad I've got a trip to look forward to! xxx

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  8. oh yes, I wore those ribbed turtlenecks too, with low-slung jeans! You're gorgeous in the red and blue dress. xox

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  9. LMFAO you're doing a Christmas Fair! lol. We did the sweater under clothing too. All my tomatoes end up ripening, I have only about 6 small ones left which will get eaten this week. That green tomato recipe looks tasty

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  10. I remember wearing polo necks under halter tops with hip-huggers.
    That curry looks delicious. I have three small tomatoes left, so maybe next year.

    Imagine squatting in a church like that. I know that's no easy life but still-if you have to squat that would be the place to do it.

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    1. There was a photo of what the church looked like when the squatter was in residence, at first i thought it was a photo of an early vintage fair, so much stuff. Poor chap, though, he must have been frozen. xxx

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  11. I think I went to a swing dance event at that church. Your dress is gorgeous and that polo neck is beautifully matched to it. That curry looks so divine! xx

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    1. It's a gorgeous venue, I bet it's lovely at night. xxx

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  12. have bad memories with this sweaters - they always were scratchy.....i´d grow up in such frosty region - we wore them under a nowegian sweater AND a thick anorak - summer dresses came out only twice a year if we were lucky.
    the curry sounds good - but with our delicate digestion we eat the unripe tomatoes better in small doses like a chutney provides......
    xxxx

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    1. Goodness me, that's a lot of layers!
      I had terrible eczema as a child, I could wear Courtelle with ease but wool? No way! Horrid! xxx

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  13. Hi Vix, your tomato dish looks delicious! I love a good polo neck, we call them turtlenecks or skivies in Australia. Have fun tomorrow! Xxx

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    1. Thanks, Jess! I love that each country calls its clothes by different names! xxx

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  14. Yes! I had one of those polo neck and when you took it off you shined like a firefly, jajaja with the acrylic, jajaja...I liked the firefly but hate the polo neck, because I felt opressed with the dress over it! In my adult life never used it again, :-(

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  15. wowww, I do love your jumper-under-sundress look!, it's brilliant, it's Red and it's fabulous! (I'm a huge fan of wearing summer clothes through the whole year!) You're particularly gorgeous in your colorful outfit! This kind of serendipious matchiness makes my heart sing!!
    Congrats on your weekend and the magnificent fair!, and so good news that you're going to trade in another fair before your holiday!. Fabulous news indeed!
    besos

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    1. You're definitely the queen of making the most of your summer wardrobe! I was amazed at how well that jumper matched that maxi, it's not like it's a common colour. xxx

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  16. Hoorah for the polo neck, I'm it's biggest fan, much to the amusement of a friend who reckons no-one wears them 'cept me & Putin! They are brilliant for layering ...and keeping draughts at bay. (You know I'm always cold) Yours couldn't be a better match for your fab frock and it looks in good nick too. Vintage jumpers don't always fare so well. Enjoy your weekend off! Xxx

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    1. Putin - that made me laugh out loud!
      I love a polo neck, I hate a cold neck.
      Yes, vintage jumpers are hard to find especially good basics like that one. I did see a couple of Mango stripy ones in the chazza this week but they were very long. xxx

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  17. I'd love to pop on a polo neck under my summer dresses but when I do I just feel so uncomfortable. I can't get on with it at all. I just wear ever larger jumpers, adding them on top of each other until I get to the correct temperature, usually about the time I start to look like the Michelin man.
    I was so sure you were going to say that Dame Judi Dench made an appearance. What a stunning venue.
    I'm already looking forward to reading about another trip to India.
    xx

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    1. I'm the opposite, I can't stand bulky jumpers, I seem all discombobulated in them!
      I wish Judy Dench had paid us a visit, maybe next time! xxx

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  18. the turtle neck and dress look like the perfect match. Fried green tomatoes are a old-fashion southern USA food. But our version are sliced, dredged with floor and, of course, deep fried. And none of those "weird" spices! Your version looks much better

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    1. Haha! I suspected the American version wouldn't be healthy! xxx

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  19. Ooo to that recipe!! Years ago we had a huge crop of green tomatoes and didn't know what to do with them. I've made a mental note! What a fab way to wear a summer maxi. I have a couple of dresses I could try with a poloneck. Thanks for the tip xx

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    1. It's a delicious dish. Chutney always gets wasted here as we don't eat that many sandwiches.
      I seem to remember you finding a gorgeous lurex polo neck last year. xxx

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  20. That recipe does look delicious, although I'm not sure my delicate digestive system could stomach green tomatoes! As I was around in the 1970s, I do remember these polo necks, and I even had one in the same colour when I was 14. There must be a photo of me wearing it somewhere. Although I did have Winter clothes, I remember wanting to wear a polo neck under a smocked and puff-sleeved Summer frock worn as a tunic over bell bottoms. My Mum didn't let me, but I managed to sneak out wearing it one day! xxx

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    1. Ha! I've got a cast iron constitution - 20 years of travelling in India!!
      I like the sound of your sneaky outfit. Didn't you wear a polo under a maxi dress last year? I remember you looking fabulous! xxx

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  21. tomato recipe looks delicious. Hampstead looks very nice, I will get to one of your pop ups eventually.

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  22. Oh, do I remember those ribbed polo necks! I had a bright yellow one which I wore with flared jeans and red and yellow platform shoes and thought I looked like the bees knees!

    It's astonishing that the colour matches so well with your fab dress - what a result!

    Like Wood Fairy I will get to one of your events eventually...

    Wonderful news about your holiday and have a fab weekend. You obviously do things differently in Walsall as your weekend starts on a Wednesday!!

    Keep warm.
    xxxx

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    1. I had a yellow one until comparatively recently - sadly it met with a sticky end when I managed to get it caught in the back of the chest of drawers!
      Today Walsall's been named the 2nd most unhealthy town in the UK! xxx

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  23. Your polo neck puts me in mind of the red skinny polo neck jumper I wore as part of my school uniform in the late 70s!
    Arilx

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    1. You had a cool school uniform! Ours won the award for ugliest school uniform in the UK on Saturday Superstore! xxx

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  24. The green tomato curry sounds fab! We can't get curry leaves (fresh, dried, or frozen) here in Nepal but I'd like to put that recipe on my blog- with your permission of course ;)
    That red sweater looks amazing with that maxi! I recall those acrylic sweaters being miserably scratchy and hot, blah! Mine usually came from Sears Roebuck or Montgomery Wards.
    xox
    xox

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    1. You're more than welcome to share the recipe, I'd be honoured! When I'm in Goa I'll post you a packet of curry leaves if you like, not sure if I can get away with sending dried leaves through the post from the UK!
      I've always been fine with Courtelle polo necks despite having terrible eczema as a kid. Those nylon silky ones though, they were vile! xxx

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  25. Hoorah for booking your trip to India. This cold snap must be making you feel more ready than ever to head for the sunshine. In the mean time, that polo neck is a *fantastic* match for your dress.

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    1. I'm so excited to have finally booked the trip - I cannot stand these dark nights! xxx

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  26. Fried green tomatoes are so good, your recipe sounds tasty, I'll try it.
    I had an orange polo neck that I loved, I must've been about eleven and I've never forgotten it, it was my favourite. It's still my favourite colour.
    I love the way you teamed it with the dress, it looks wonderful and warm too. Much needed at the moment. xxx

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    1. Goodness me, hasn't it gone cold? I've had to dig my gloves out.
      I'd love an orange polo neck! xxx

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  27. And I'm still wearing two of those indestructible jumpers under bulkier tops... Nothing like 40+ year old acrylic for durability!

    Ah, 'tis a sign of the season, along with Xmas decorations nestled amongst the Turkey Day treats at the supermarket: Vix has booked the trip to Goa. And have you tucked Jacob Herrmann into his straw bunker, yet?

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    1. I once got into a conversation with a couple of ladies at a jumble sale, they reckoned that fabrics like Crimplene and Courtelle had be phased out as it was so hard wearing that women weren't buying enough clothes - I can believe it!
      Yes, Jacob's in his box. He's been tucked up safe and sound for a fortnight. xxx

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  28. Your recipe sounds really good! And you created such a stunning ensemble with your turtleneck (as they are called here, and a polo is a totally different thing here)! What a gorgeous dress! I adore Judi Dench - what a treat it would be to meet her in person! Lots of love!

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    1. It's a constant source of wonder that our clothes have different names despite us sharing a language!
      I adore Judy Dench, maybe next time. She looks like she'd wear vintage, she's got such incredible style. xxx

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  29. That tomato recipe sounds delicious (she said, enjoying leftover saag paneer for breakfast). Thank you for posting it. Is that a vintage TG Green mixing bowl with a flattened side in the first pic? I've got two of those in different sizes – so solid and practical.

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    1. Hi Brikka! I've got saag paneer for tea - I could eat it all the time!
      That is a TG Green mixing bowl and, like you, I've got two of them. I love their classic look and yes, they're really practical and solid. xxx

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  30. I can't believe that it's nearly time for you to go to India again....it doesn't seem five minutes since your last trip.
    As always I will be looking forward to seeing the photos and reading all about it.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. I know, it soon rolls around, doesn't it?
      It'll be an epic adventure this time - I think! xxx

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  31. I keep getting a free invite to that pop up vintage fair but I've never been yet. Those jumpers are the reason I cannot bear wearing anything high necked now, I just can't bear the feeling around my neck, but yes they were a winter staple with thick tights and little kilts or as you say under the summer pinafore.

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    1. The Pop-Up Fairs are amazing, the quality of some of the stock will blow your mind (and your budget!) xxx

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  32. Bugger, I'm working on 9th Dec or I could've hopped on a train to London. xx

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Love from Vix
xxx