This year was rough on our tomato crop. The cold and damp conditions made it difficult for them to ripen completely. This appeared to be the case for everyone around us too. When we would go to the farmers market we would hear the same story over and over again, “The tomatoes just weren’t doing so well this year.”
So…what to do now that it’s October and I have a bushel full of unripened green tomatoes? I don’t want to let them go to waste; luckily, there are other options (and I’m not just talking about frying them.)
I want to share a trick my Grandma taught me that can make yer “mater’s” blush, and quite possibly give you tasty tomatoes up till Christmas… (It’s super, duper simple.)
A cool, dry place, like the basement.
A stack of newspapers or brown paper bags.
A large flat surface that will be undisturbed.
So, all you have to do is lay out a few sheets of newspaper, or flattened paper bags and place the tomatoes on top. Make sure they aren’t touching, give them a little bit of space.
After you have all of your tomatoes placed, cover them with a few more sheets of paper or brown paper bags and check them every few days.
When you see a tomato starting to form a little bit of a blush, remove it from the group and bring it upstairs to finish ripening.
If you want to ripen a bunch of them at once, leave the blushing tomatoes there for a while. The ripening tomatoes produce a natural plant hormone called ethylene, which will help push along the ripening process for the other ones. If you want to slow down the process, make sure to remove the tomatoes that show signs of ripening right away.
You’ll want to make sure you keep an eye out for any tomatoes that might form mold and remove them right away if you spot any. If they go unchecked it could spoil the whole batch. (You know the saying, one bad apple spoils the whole bunch…or tomato in this case.)
That’s all there is to it! I’ve been doing this with our tomatoes and it works very well.
In my next post I’ll show you what we’re doing with all our ripe tomatoes. I’ll share our recipe for home-made roasted marinara sauce (It’s soooo good!!!), and how to preserve it using a canner.
It’s been a couple of months since I deleted my Facebook account, while I don’t regret the decision, I have found myself sometimes missing the hours of scrolling endlessly through posts of selfies, cats, food, and dirty laundry. I kid, I don’t miss that shit a bit (well maybe the cats…).
However, I do miss the updates from useful groups that talk about organic food, or clean energy, or self sufficiency.
There is something nice about seeing those kind of uplifting tid-bits every day, and it serves as a reminder that the world isn’t completely screwed. Then again, the cynicism will usually start to creep back up after seeing some of the other (usually stupid) posts on facebook (drunk duck faces and the like).
I don’t have any plans to go back to that flawed facade of a social network, but I realize it’s time to get my nose to the grindstone so to speak and start looking around for some more positivity fuel. Any suggestions?
My Aunt Patti passed away this morning. I just talked to her yesterday. Not really sure what to say. I’m still processing this, it’s not like I didn’t know this was going to happen, she was in hospice and it was only a matter of time. However, you can prepare all you want but, when this sort of thing happens it will still catch you by surprise.
I think it’s because there’s always that silent wish for a miracle, that sort of belief we cling to that our loved one will get past this and be better. That wish is strong, no matter how many facts are staring you in the face that say otherwise. When the inevitable finally happens you are mourning not only the loss of someone you love but, the absence of that miracle which could have saved them…
I love you Patti. I will miss you.