Monday, April 23, 2007

Fried Green Tomatoes & Friendships. Catching up - 4

A couple of years ago a woman I know, asked me if I had seen the movie, Fried Green Tomatoes. I said no. She said she couldn't believe it, then proceeded to praise the film and then recommended I see it. I went to the library and checked it out. Loved it! and the rest of the story goes from there.

Two years ago, my mother passed away. It was shortly after that... probably when the initial shock wore off, that I began to question and evaluate what female friendships were... were supposed to be.... how they affected me... did they even have a significant affect on me... did I really have female friendships... why did I seem to get along better with men... trust issues swirled in my head and they did not feel like sugar plums dancing about... was I weird... do we really need same sex friends... what purpose did they serve and place should they have???? on... and on.... and on my mind would spin like a top around this issue of "female friendships". Did my mother's passing away bring all of that on? Maybe, maybe not. Was her passing away the catalyst that provoked the spinning thoughts... no doubt. It was just about this time that this woman recommended I watch this movie. It was also right at this time that I stumbled onto the friendship trilogy of, Lynne Hinton's. Friendship Cake, Hope Springs and Forever Friends. Since I do not believe in fate, luck, happenstances or coincidences... I knew God was working something into the fabric of my life. I was amazed at how terrified I was at so many levels by this entire issue of female friendships. I really had to dig in deep and ask the question... "Do I really trust God enough to go willingly through this journey into my heart and soul and bring me out in one piece? Or do I just talk the talk and stop short of the walk?" I actually lost sleep and a little weight over this whole thing. I knew that I would get before the Lord and yield this entire situation over to Him, and allow Him to weave anything into me He wanted. But, I had to go over some... a lot of those verses so dear to my heart that talk of God's goodness and mercy and never ending love for me, before I actually let go and let God. Cliche-ee I know.. but true just the same. The moment I released my will in that situation an amazing peace came over me. And then, beautiful things began to happen. I seriously plan to go into to some of that in a blog post in the next day or two or so, but suffice it to say I've come a long way baby! Are all of those questions answered?... no not all of them. Do I have most of them answered?... probably. But, I function so much better in the arena of female fellowship. Quite a leap from not even being sure female friendship had real merit. Anyway, I am currently doing some things to really grow in that area. One of those things was a big part of the trip I just took to, Georgia.

Originally, the Georgia trip was to only involve my girlfriend in Chattanooga, and myself. I was going to go down, visit maybe overnight, and then on to Juliette, Ga. Juliette, Georgia?????? That is where Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed. The town the story got it's inspiration from is Irondale, Alabama. The original Whistle Stop Cafe is there. It has expanded greatly. The Whistle Stop Cafe in Juliette, Georgia however, has been preserved from the time of the filming, and is closer to the movie's original inspiration minus expansions. I wanted to visit Juliette, because although I am sure the Original Whistle Stop in Alabama, is a great place (and I do plan to visit there soon) I did not want all of the touristy hype. I wanted to go and soak in the nostalgia of this movie. And, I wanted to do it with a friend. I thought about going with one of my daughters... well actually going with all three of them would have been great. But, that really defeated the purpose. So the plans were made and we would go. Somewhere along the line husbands got involved. Although they went camping with us, they did go somewhere about an hour away after dropping us off in Juliette, to see something that they found more interesting. So, my friend and I did not get the real one on one time that would have been nice in making the trip alone. But, the beauty in that is that I was not only willing to do something like that, but that I looked forward to it. Two years ago I would not have even considered such a trip one on one for half of an hour, much less a whole day. Big progress!!! Oh, and there was a group of seven women there while we were. They were having the best time and the bonding and friendship and fellowship among them was so evident. It made me want to be a part of just such a group. I withdrew from all of that LONG ago... vowing never to return. More big progress! So, though the trip did not pan out quite as I had hoped, the point is that I realized that I did hope for it... and wanted to jump back into life and become vulnerable and available to women for friendship.

In an upcoming blog, I will go into the making myself available a little bit more, but I want to wrap this one up... finally, I know, with a bit about the movie. This movie is set up so that the seemingly primary story line is told by a spunky and wise older woman, (Jessica Tandy) to a younger woman (Kathy Bates) that is insecure, without purpose or direction, and has no clue where to find either. The story she tells is about two women from a local town that lived 60 years earlier. There story is one of unlikely people becoming the closest and dearest, most loyal and devoted, friends. Their tale tells of tragedy and triumph. Their relationship truly sets an excellent standard for the word, "friend". The story told reveals how these two came through some of the biggest oppositions possible, and were better for it. Oddly enough, as you are drawn in and captivated by these two women of years gone by... you find yourself equally fascinated with, and loving the story teller and her single woman audience (Bates). Both stories run parallel and the result shows how when we are involved in friendships we can... well... two are just better than one. This movie ignited in me a desire to change my stand on female friendships and entertain the idea of putting my feet... maybe my toes first, back into the pond of friendship. It will always be dear to me.

Above are four pictures from those few precious hours in Juliette, Georgia. The first picture is of the inside of The Whistle Stop Cafe. The second one is of one of the characters mailboxes. The third is of my friend and I as we were entering..... the home of the set for Fried Green Tomatoes, Juliette, Georgia. The last picture is the church used in the movie. For those of you who have seen the movie those should mean something... all others go to your local library and the check the movie out. :-)

I really could not end this post without adding this recipe. I grew up on Fried Green Tomatoes, and was shocked to find out how many people had not heard of them until the movie came out.

The Original Fried Green Tomatoes

1 egg beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup self rising flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
6-8 green tomatoes cut into 1/4” slices
Bacon drippings

Mix egg and buttermilk in a shallow dish. Mix flour, cornmeal, and salt in a separate shallow dish. Working in bathes, dip tomato slices into egg mixture, allowing excess to drip back into the dish. Coat with flour mixture.

Fry in hot bacon drippings in a large heavy skillet until browned, turning once. Drain & serve.

This recipe was taken from, The Green Tomato Cookbook that was published by Fried Green Products.

Gotta do life............
until next time...


Gourdlady said...

I live in Juliette! Right next to the fire station. I have been doing country folk art for the tourists for a few years now. I have sold my painted gourds and glassware from the whistle stop for a few years! I recently opened my own store on my property! So glad you enjoyed your trip here! come by and see us again soon. I own the "Fried Green Tomato Factory"! Visit my on line store! www.friedgreentomatofactory! Hope you visit soon! Phyllis Le'Van

Kim said...

Ah, what a great post, Teresa! I somehow never read this one. I think I was offline around this time? Can't remember. I read the book and heard that the movie was a bit more tame. Will have to check it out now! I've seen clips and it certainly looks interesting!