Ripening Green Tomatoes: Any Suggestions?



If you spent all day Sunday inside enjoying the rain and checked the weather in the evening, you undoubtedly saw today's  forecast for more rain or snow showers. Ouch. For me, this meant one thing: Pick my green tomatoes.

Picking got tricky, as I had to wait until 9 p.m. when the rain stalled to grab the last of the tomatoes. It was cold and wet.

I also had to decide how to force the ripening. My friend Patti said she put her green tomatoes in paper bags and waited forever for them to ripen. "They were delicious," she confirmed. My sister Peg said, "You're supposed to pull the plants up and hang the vines upside down. Just Google it."

And so I did, only to be more confused. This site suggested the cardboard box method: layer tomatoes in a box and store the box in a garage. Sounds good, but I don't have a garage.

On an ehow.com video, Mr. Green Thumb said to wrap the green tomatoes in newspaper. The paper helps the tomatoes ripen by trapping in the ethanol gas. Then I found this lovely "do nothing" approach on inmykitchengarden.com.  Bingo.

Finally, I opted for a experiment. I picked most of the cherry tomatoes and put them on the sill. A few of the larger tomatoes fell off the vine. I put those in a paper bag. I decided to try the vine approach with the Arkansas Travelers, but I don't have a rafter or twine for hanging. So I tucked the vine around my kitchen bookcase and put a plastic bag around it's roots. I had to cover my cookbooks and move Griffin's water bowl. Too bad my dog doesn't like tomatoes.
 

Reader Comments:
Nov 29, 2011 11:09 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Edna Lewis's "Gift of Southern Cooking" recipe for braised lamb shanks with green tomatoes. Same type that you have. One's that will never get a chance to ripen on the vine.

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