Limitless Fried Green Tomatoes

25 Feb

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‘Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them’. – Liz Gilbert, Big Magic

I put a healthier twist on this southern style recipe. No limits to how you can prepare fried green tomatoes! Living in the south for a month… I had to cook up this classic. Slice tomatoes and drench with egg wash. Coat with crushed macadamia nuts or bread crumbs and fry over high heat in skillet coated with olive oil. Garnish with goat cheese and balsamic vinegar. A tasty alternative… zucchini instead of green tomatoes. Inspired by Vic’s on the River in Savannah, Georgia. Read on to hear about the Muir adventure that inspired this recipe…

I started reading Liz Gilbert’s book, ‘Big Magic’, this week. Her inspiring words encourage one to shatter the boundaries we often confine ourselves in. Express yo’self! Break through the barriers of fear, insecurities, and routine to maximize your unique potential buried within.

A few weeks ago, Scott began training on a new airplane in Savannah, Georgia with a private school outside of the Air Force. He is going through the program with another Air Force pilot and two other men from the civilian world. Scott came home a few days into the program and said, ‘Hey Kris, we are going to dinner with some guys this week after work. I know you generally get bored with pilot talk but this will be different. You love meeting new people and these men are interesting’.

Most people advised that we’d no longer be able to go out once our baby was born. Unless of course we were willing to have babysitters around the clock. In all honesty, it sounded like a death sentence. No wine… no beers… no delightful meals outside of the confines of our own four walls?! Puuulleeease. I love meeting people when we’re out! Our closest friends in Berkeley stemmed from grabbing spontaneous beers out on the town and sharing a table due to limited seating. And because I love eavesdropping and barging into conversations ; ) No but really… how enriching life is when you get out and shake hands with new people, new ideas, new lenses on the world?!

Anyhow, baby-dinner-potential mayhem limitation crushed. We go out all of the time. Often very casual and early in the evening, but we go baby! Our 1 year old has now been to three fancy Friday dinners with this group of men while we’ve been in Savannah. Did I break through a barrier of fear every time we walked through the restaurant doors? Of course! What if she completely melts down tonight with these sophisticated men? ‘Fuck it’, says Jersey Kris…’What do we have to really lose here?!’

So begins the tale of our first dinner with the mystery men. I quickly discover that one is part of the Saudi Royal Family and insists on hosting us all for dinner at The Bohemian Hotel in downtown Savannah…let’s call him ‘B’. The other man is his highly trained personal pilot. B has an incredibly approachable and respectful dynamic; however, I decide to take on a quieter, observational role initially. I want to gather a sense of culture first in order to understand my place at the table. Be cool baby, be cool. I notice that the other Air Force pilot next to Scott takes on a similar approach to me. As the evening progresses, I allow a pinch of charisma here and there to flavor the conversation and let them know I am engaged. I found it incredibly fascinating that B took on the role of host very seriously. His chair sat centered as if he was the conductor to our orchestra. It became quite clear within a few minutes that we would be ordering a coursed out meal starting with cocktails and moving on to finer wines as the food arrived. At times, B even followed my lead. ‘She’s having a glass of wine. Scratch that cocktail, I’ll have what she’s having’. His warm demeanor took hospitality to a new level. I love how the conversations evolve with each phase. We start with small talk and simplistic dishes. Entrees lead into a meatier depth of conversation. We evolve into topics related to B’s role of bridging the gap between Middle Eastern and Western societies.  As if that wasn’t eye opening enough, I feel the need for some Cognac at the end of our gluttonous evening. ‘Because I’m sassy and because I can, damn it!’… amazing how our inner dialogue will lead to seemingly great decisions at the time but become truly regrettable in the near future. Needless to say, I felt truly alive by the end of the evening despite my exhaustion of chasing around our 1 year old all day. Oh and Quinn passed out shortly after appetizers in her stroller.

Scott and I stopped listening to the rules on how to be parents immediately after having Quinn. And she’s a perfectly happy toddler, promise! The rules are there are no rules 🙂 We don’t have to actually create a masterful piece of art to engage in creative living… Simply break free of the mundane and let life’s experiences enlighten you. I’ve posted a fried green tomato appetizer today since this was my starter of choice that led to great company, new perspectives, and wonderful conversations. Restaurants visited include: The Bohemian, Cotton & Rye, Vics on the River. Bon Appetito! Oh and of course, a weekly snapshot of me with Q in the park below 🙂

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