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Green Tomatoes and no more time...

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Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  camprn on 10/9/2010, 2:54 pm

Well, the temp will fall into the lower 20's tonight so I am harvesting the rest of my tomatoes, peppers, eggplant & basil.
I found this interesting fact sheet from the Colorado Coop Extension Service
Ripening That Huge Crop of Green Tomatoes

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  acara on 10/9/2010, 6:37 pm

Southern solution = Fried Green Tomatoes

Not heart healthly ...but damn yummy Laughing

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  Megan on 10/9/2010, 6:40 pm

Great link, Camprn!

Mine are turning red quite nicely on the windowsill. I just wish I had enough to really can. May have to hit the farmer's market for more.

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  acara on 10/9/2010, 8:36 pm

I'm going to mildly disagree with the article ...

The gas that ripens the fruit is ethylene oxide (same gas they use for gas sterilization).

Toss the green tom's in a brown paper bag (as you need them) & close/seal the bag.

The concentrated gas will ripen the fruit fairly quickly

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  camprn on 10/9/2010, 8:42 pm

will it ripen them or just make them red?

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  Old Hippie on 10/9/2010, 8:49 pm

Last year I harvested about 40 pounds of tomatoes. Many of them were green. What I had read in other gardening books agreed with that article so I didn't expect many of them to ripen. I left a lot of them "on the vine" and just put them downstairs in my dark not so cold "cold room". To my surprise, most of the silly things ripened, although not all at once. When I had too many ripe ones for us to use up I blanched them, slipped the skins off and froze them. At Christmas time we were using up the last of the fresh tomatoes from the garden.

I know that is not what the books say to expect but it was what happened anyway. I am trying it again this year.

GK

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  camprn on 10/9/2010, 9:02 pm

@Old Hippie wrote:Last year I harvested about 40 pounds of tomatoes. Many of them were green. What I had read in other gardening books agreed with that article so I didn't expect many of them to ripen. I left a lot of them "on the vine" and just put them downstairs in my dark not so cold "cold room". To my surprise, most of the silly things ripened, although not all at once. When I had too many ripe ones for us to use up I blanched them, slipped the skins off and froze them. At Christmas time we were using up the last of the fresh tomatoes from the garden.

I know that is not what the books say to expect but it was what happened anyway. I am trying it again this year.

GK

Brilliant! I will try them in front of a window for a few days and then to a cooler spot. Thanks GK!

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  camprn on 10/9/2010, 9:03 pm

Todays harvest of the the 4' X 6' garden box = 20 lbs. green tomatoes, 6 lbs. poblano peppers, 4 eggplants and Basil (from one square) that made 24 oz. of pesto.

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  acara on 10/9/2010, 11:11 pm

@camprn wrote:will it ripen them or just make them red?

It will ripen ... same way they ripen normally, just accelerated.

The "windowsill trick" is what leads to the false-ripening & accelerated rot ...The EO is the natural-trigger

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  pattipan on 10/10/2010, 12:18 am

I've been using "tomato boxes" for years to ripen tomatoes at the end of the season. :-) Ask for them at your local supermarket or farmers market. They are made of heavy duty corrugated cardboard, usually coated with beeswax. They have holes for ventilation and a removable lid. I usually stack no more than two layers of tomatoes in a box, with a reasonably thick layer of newspapers in between. I am very careful about stems, but I have found that leaving the stem on helps in the ripening process. I do make a habit of checking the boxes often, and will move them around to keep them sorted by ripeness. Works for me!

I know that there is still a bushel or more hanging on my vines right now -- due to a growth spurt during an unseasonably hot September. I am leaving them on the vines as long as possible. This week the daytime temps are in the upper 70's, today it was 82. I've trimmed the vines way back to maximize energy to the tomatoes.

I don't have a warm space large enough to store 6 to 8+ foot vines, otherwise I would test to see if ripening on the vine works better than my tomato boxes. I think the hubby would protest if I put them in his workshop -- he is already has shared/is sharing his space with shallots, onions and winter squash -- ha!

On a smaller scale, I use those clear plastic strawberry/blueberry blister packs to ripen tomatoes on the counter. Perfect for cherry tomatoes, or for one or two for tomorrow's sandwich. I have a couple of big ones too, that will hold 4 good-sized tomatoes.

BTW, I tried to upload a pic of the tomato box so you could see it, but the forum won't let me upload tonight...I'll try later.

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  Old Hippie on 10/10/2010, 1:51 am

Pattipan, none of mine were anywhere close to six feet high and even then I didn't leave the whole vine, just part of it...due to the space issue too. I had them in boxes, on shelves, in baskets. I left them until the branches dried right out and fell or broke off by themselves. Any that weren't on the vine I put in boxes or baskets with newspaper between so perhaps that help keep the gas in that Acara mentioned. Very few of mine rotted at all.

GK

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  LaFee on 10/10/2010, 3:48 am

My great-grandmother used to make green tomato pie -- it tastes something like mincemeat.

Another Southern use for green tomatoes is to make green tomato chow-chow -- it's along the lines of a relish or chutney -- sweet/sour type condiment (and tasty!)

I was thinking of making one of them, until the blight took 'em all Rolling Eyes

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  camprn on 10/10/2010, 7:31 am

@LaFee wrote:My great-grandmother used to make green tomato pie -- it tastes something like mincemeat.

Another Southern use for green tomatoes is to make green tomato chow-chow -- it's along the lines of a relish or chutney -- sweet/sour type condiment (and tasty!)

I was thinking of making one of them, until the blight took 'em all Rolling Eyes

Thanks everyone for the great advice! I will do the boxes as I prefer to have ripe tomatoes but I may just try a small batch of the Chow-chow. It sounds yummy! Very Happy

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Pickles

Post  ander217 on 10/10/2010, 8:29 am

Don't forget the Green Tomato Pickles recipe I posted on the canning and preserving recipe thread.

I think I also posted my pickle relish recipe which can be made with cukes, zukes, or green tomatoes.

Hubby and I stopped at Cracker Barrel yesterday on the way home from the airport in St. Louis, and had beans 'n' greens. They came with a small serving of relish which if I remember correctly was listed as green tomato relish on the menu. I'd never made my relish with green tomatoes before, but the relish served with the beans was really good, so I may try making some when frost threatens here.

Chow-chow sounds good, too.

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  LaFee on 10/10/2010, 8:32 am

Ander, I'd bet my lunch money that the relish and the chow-chow are about the same thing.

Chow-chow is just a weird word for it!

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  Megan on 10/10/2010, 9:07 am

I thought chow-chow had cauliflower in it? I must be being dyslexic again.

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  LaFee on 10/10/2010, 11:02 am

Megan, it all depends on which kind of chow-chow you're talking about...it's kind of like relish...or salsa...your actual mileage may vary!

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  Megan on 10/10/2010, 11:09 am

Ah... that figures.

I found out just the other day that tomatillos do not sell well in this area. My crop didn't pan out well, and I can only find dribbles and drabs in the local stores. May have to try to order some in to make salsa verde.

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  pattipan on 10/10/2010, 12:22 pm

@Megan wrote:I thought chow-chow had cauliflower in it?

Me too, Megan! Only I remember chopped cabbage as the main ingredient in Chow chow. Here in WV we call green tomato relish, "Piccalilli." Maybe it's a regional thing??

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  Furbalsmom on 10/10/2010, 12:59 pm

Do you peel green tomatoes the same way you peel ripe tomatoes? Cut a small X on the blossom end then dip in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until the skin starts to split, then drop in iced water until cool enough to handle?

In my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving (hardback) published in 2006, I found recipes for Piccalilli Relish, Chow Chow Relish,and Dilled Green tomatoes. I also found Green Salsa, Green Chili Sauce, and Salsa Verde that all use Green Tomatoes instead of tomatillos. If anyone wants a particular recipe, I can reproduce here.

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chow-chow, picalilli

Post  ander217 on 10/10/2010, 10:12 pm

We had a thread earlier in the year discussing the differences between chow-chow and picalilli, and I think we concluded that they mean different things in the various regions of the country. My grandma always said chow-chow had cabbage in it, and she thought picalilli had to have hot peppers.

Maybe the Ball Blue Book has set a definitive rule for us all to follow.

And I never peel green tomatoes.

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  Furbalsmom on 10/15/2010, 12:39 pm

Found an article in Mother Earth News that provides good info about how to store and ripen your tomatoes. Also includes a recipe for Green Tomato Relish with no cabbage.
Try this link:
Green Tomatoes

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  Furbalsmom on 10/22/2010, 1:13 am

BUMP for SFG in Chicago

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

Post  pattipan on 10/22/2010, 3:25 pm

Boffer fixed the forum gallery, so now I'll show you my tomato ripening boxes that I mentioned in an earlier post in this thread. The smaller box is a blueberry box, it's perfect for small batches of tomatoes that might need ripening. The tomatoes in it ripened in about 2 1/2 weeks.





Note that tomatoes need to be "slightly turning" to ripen indoors. Slightly turning varies for different types of tomatoes. I know that when my WV '63's turn whitish looking, they will ripen soon. This is the first year I've grown the Opalka paste tomatoes, they seem to get a little red blush on the blossom end, so that's what I looked for. Some of the tomatoes I picked off in bunches, so there may be some under-ripe ones included. I'll let you know if they seem to ripen better with more stem attached.

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Re: Green Tomatoes and no more time...

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