Fried Green Tomatoes and Yogi-isms

“It’s ain’t over ‘til it’s over” is only one of Yogi Berra’s infamous paradoxical contradictions known as Yogi-isms. Berra is one of Major League Baseball’s greatest catchers who as player, coach or manager, appeared in 21 World Series.

It’s that time of year when two of my favorite summer pastimes – watching baseball and eating homegrown tomatoes – will take a hiatus. Although the World Series is yet to be played, and with 90 degree temps here in the D.C. area last weekend, I found homegrown tomatoes. Better yet, I found green ones ready for frying up.

I’m hanging on to summer for dear life at this point. But as long as baseball is still being played and I can still find home grown tomatoes, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

Before I give you my fried green tomato recipe with a tasty sauce I just created, enjoy some more Yogi-isms (thanks to Wikipedia):

  • As a general comment on baseball: “90 percent of the game is half mental.”
  • On why he no longer went to Ruggeri’s, a St. Louis restaurant: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
  • “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” In July 1973, Berra’s Mets trailed the Chicago Cubs by nine-and-a-half games in the National League East, the Mets rallied to win the division title on the final day of the season.
  • When giving directions to Joe Garagiola to his New Jersey home, which is accessible by two routes: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
  • On being the guest of honor at an awards banquet: “Thank you for making this day necessary.”
  • “It’s déjà vu all over again.” Berra explained that this quote originated when he witnessed Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris repeatedly hit back-to-back home runs in the Yankees’ seasons in the early 1960s.
  • “You can observe a lot by watching.”
  • “Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t go to yours.”

Fried Green Tomatoes with Tasty Sauce


  • Oil of your choice for frying
  • 2 large green tomatoes, washed and sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • I cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon basil, fresh and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


Prepare sauce first: Combine mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice, salt and ground pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Wash and slice tomatoes. Place on paper towels to remove excess water and juice. Salt and pepper the tomato slices on both sides

Mix Panko bread crumbs, flour, and seasoned bread crumbs in a bowl.

Beat eggs slightly in another bowl.

Heat oil in a large sauté pan.

Dip a tomato slice in egg, then bread crumb mixture, then place in heated oil. Don’t overcrowd the battered tomatoes in the pan — their edges shouldn’t be touching. Brown on one side about five minutes, flip tomatoes and brown on the other side. Don’t overcook but be sure they are browned nicely with a crust. Serve hot with sauce.

Yield: About 10 slices


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