It's a Fried Green Tomatoes Weekend...

Do these tomatoes look familiar... they are the ones on top of the Fried Green Tomatoes poster... let's hear the story behind the movie... this information is gathered from Sandi of the Whistlestop Cafe Cooking blog and the Whistlestop Cafe Site... Here we are at the Irondale station in Alabama... Irondale is located just east of Birmingham on I-20. Chartered in 1887, a little mining community, then a railroad community, and now a diverse and thriving town...Here is Miss Bess Fortenberry... she purchased the Irondale Cafe around 1932 and catered to railroad workers and locals.

Bess, who came from a prominent Irondale family, was single and had a great enthusiasm for life. She was freespirited, loved people, and built a successful business. Her great-niece Fanny Flagg would later write a book about her life and the cafe.

In the early forties, Bess leased the Irondale Cafe and went to Florida to work for the war effort. While in Florida, she ran into an old acquaintance, Sue Lovelace. After the war, Bess convinced Sue and a wonderful cook, a black lady named Lizzie Cunningham, to come back to Irondale with her and help in the cafe.

The trio made the Irondale Cafe one of the most popular places around town to dine. They cooked such good vegetables and meats, and they had a thriving sandwich business. What made the sandwiches especially desirable was that they were made "to go"-primarily because there wasn't much room in the cafe for sit-down eating at that time.

In 1972, Bess suffered a light stroke and decided to sell the cafe and retire. Sue and Lizzie also had health problems and were ready to give up the cafe. This is when Bess sold the cafe to Billy. Billy had worked with the railroad and eaten lunch at the cafe on numerous occasions. Over the years, the original cafe was torn down and a new cafe was built on the site and eventually expanded.
Mr. and Mrs. McMichael were the owners of the Irondale Cafe for 28 years until retirement in 2000. During the time they owned the Cafe, Fannie Flagg wrote the book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe and the movie version came out in 1992. Right after the movie opened, tourists from all over started coming to the "Whistle Stop" Cafe. On February 5, 1992, The Birmingham News ran an article with a picture of two of my cooks holding a peck basket of green tomatoes. The caption read "Seen the movie? Now taste the title."

Mrs. McMichael seen here whipping up a batch of fried green tomatoes...

Everyone who came to the cafe for the first time wanted to know all about Miss Bess and our restaurant and almost all the customers new and old, ordered fried green tomatoes! We’d fry 60 or 70 pounds every weekday and more than that on Sundays. It's almost a miracle that we were able to do it. The people at the Finley Avenue Produce Market were more than helpful in keeping us supplied with all the green tomatoes we needed.

Fannie in front of the cafe while on a visit...
Ooh... Look a train just pulled into the station... let's hop aboard... and journey to the set of Fried Tomatoes...

Here is the town in Juliette, Georgia... this is the town for the filming of the movie...
If you haven't seen Fried Green Tomatoes you should rate it or buy it... great movie to keep in your library and the movie was rate one of the top Ten Great Chick Flicks for a Girls Movie Night...Cast and Characters...
Kathy Bates .... Evelyn Couch
Mary Stuart Masterson .... Idgie Threadgoode
Mary-Louise Parker .... Ruth Jamison
Jessica Tandy .... Ninny Threadgoode
Cicely Tyson .... Sipsey
Chris O'Donnell .... Buddy Threadgoode
Stan Shaw .... Big George
Gailard Sartain .... Ed Couch
Timothy Scott .... Smokey Lonesome
Gary Basaraba .... Grady Kilgore

If you would like to try your hand at making Fried Green Tomatoes... here is the original recipe via the WhistleStopCooking blog...Fried Green Tomatoes
3-4 green tomatoes
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 tsp salt & pepper
milk
vegetable oil
Mix together flour, cornmeal, salt & pepper. Add enough milk to create a thick batter. Heat 2 inches of oil in a large skillet. Batter each tomato slice, and wipe off excess. Carefully place in hot oil, browning on both sides. (may or may not need turning, depending on the amount of oil) To cool, drain in a colander to keep tomatoes from becoming soggy. Salt to taste.

If you don't want to mix your own ingredients... you can find the batter mix at the WhistleStopCafe website. Recently, Sandi posted about the Good Morning America cross-country journey called the WhistleStop Tour. The tour began September 15th, and they planned to hit every state in the country. Great Press for the Whistle Stop Cafe and products!
And finally we meet our lovely hostess for our weekend travel... Sandi and her husband Bill Jr. who have taken the food product business and grown it into a delicious success story! Thank you for hospitality and information... I have enjoyed learning about the REAL Irondale Cafe that inspired Fried Green Tomatoes!
"Y'all enjoy!" as Sandi says!

33 comments:

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Very interesting post.

amy said...

i've never had fried green tomatoes, but i really want to now!

That Girl Designs said...

Great book. I'll have to rent the movie. And, I love fried green tomatoes. Your paintings are wonderful as usual! Hope you are having a grand weekend.

Robin said...

One of my all-time favorite movies!

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

This is fascinating - I've never had fried green tomatoes either but I'm definately going to be giving your recipe a try asap..:)

Joanna Goddard said...

what a fun post. i LOVE getting fried green tomatoes whenever i go visit my friend in atlanta. yummy!!!

nikkicrumpet said...

I loved the movie...and I LOVED the visual tour and the back story. How fun!

Bonbon Oiseau said...

what a cool post lady! I want to eat some right now...

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Fifi~ or kiki as I have been known to call you
Great post! I am thrilled to have been Fifi'fied. What an honor. You did a wonderful job.

As always your artwork is amazing. You have oodles of talent.
Now let me update my blog to link to you!
Thanks bunches~ Sandi

Ana Balbinot said...

I love this movie so much! And I will try to cook tomorrow, thanks for share the recipe!

Lori Lynn said...

Terrific!

I came here from Sandi's blog. What a story and such a memorable movie too.

Pennies In My Pocket said...

Seriously one of the BEST movies ever! I've never had fried green tomatoes...now I'm going to have to!

~melody~

Sally said...

Very nice job on the post Fifi. Lovely paintings too! I came thru Sandi's link.

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

I loved this movie when it came out. I havent seen it in awhile but you make me want to rent it and watch it again. Great post and drawings. You make weekends fun. :))

Camille said...

A favorite movie of mine and my husband and I love to make fried green tomatoes! I really like the first painting in the post. Great for a kitchen wall.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

What a great post! A little Fifi...a little history...a little entertainment...and a recipe to boot! Tres, tres bien. :-)

Mrs.French said...

this post if fantastic....and your illustrations are brilliant as ever!

Jillian said...

Oh I think I've heard of the whistle stop before! Neat! Thanks for the reciple and for stopping by my blog.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

What a great blog on Sandi & the Whistlestop (she's a friend of mine!). So glad to read the whole story, I had no idea until I moved to B'ham that this was the original Whistlestop. Loved the movie!

Love Your Homes said...

Fifi, you made my day with this post. I will always remember this film, it is so special and has so many spectacular actresses, many favourites....my hat is off today for them and for you,says Ingela.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

It was a great book...perfect post on it...and even better art Fifi!!

You always bring it home, Girl!!

Thanks for that!

dolcechic said...

Love the post! You even included the recipe! :)

Funny you mentioned painting the photo, when my mom saw the photo she said this seems like a great picture for your friend to paint! :) Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!!!

Tracey said...

Grat post Fifi!!
I love me some fried green tomatoes,and I have been to Juliette, GA to visit...I lived about 30 minutes away in Macon.
Tracey

Millie said...

Wow Fifi, your beautiful paintings have just brought one of my all-time favourite movies to life all over again!

MOTH planted a couple of tomato plants a little too late this year, so I had a basket of green tomatoes begging to be used. I'd never done the recipe, so did some research & found the original one from the Cafe. I cooked them for Saturday lunch & they were sooooo good!

So we enjoyed FGT's from across the Pacific, in a little village in the Adelaide Hills of South Australia. The world truly is a small place!
Millie ^_^

Songy said...

green tomatoes. Yum.. summer is fast approaching here in oz and I'm thinking of growing tomatoes myself. Great paintings!

Ms. Tee said...

This is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I read the book! I somehow missed the fact that Fannie Flagg was her great-niece, though. I loved this tour and your beautiful paintings!!

{ Becca } said...

I just LOVE this post, Fifi! One of my favorite movies, and foods!

Thanks for sharing!

Cheers!
Becca

Brilliant Asylum said...

I love this movie and the story behind it. It makes me proud to be from the South (with exception to the racism part of the movie). In the grand scheme of things, I think it has a good message. Your illustrations are wonderful too!

Alexa said...

You find inspiration in the best places. It's always a pleasure.:-)

Pat said...

Hi Fifi!

This was wonderful! I have the book, and loved the movie, and I've been readiung Sandi and Bill's blog for awhile, but I didn't know they whole story behind how thye came upon the cafe, and I loved your illustrations of it!
Thanks!

Hugs, Pat

please sir said...

Even though I live in the South - I haven't had these yet! Need to get on that!

teaorwine said...

Love this movie!

Paul Nichols said...

Long, long ago I was was thumbing through the "Just Arrived" books at the local library. I happened upon "Fried Green Tomatoes" and checked it out, mainly because Fannie Flagg wrote it. I thought it would be easy, humorous reading. One of the better books I've read. The movie was outstanding; My First Wife watches it every time we see it come on TV. She likes Cathy Bates. This was a good and interesting post.

Another good new arrival that I picked up from the same library rack was "Cool Hand Luke." (Another time, of course.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...