Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Green Tomatoes

As usual I have a glut of green tomatoes squatting on my plants.  It's almost like they were taunting me because I know that they will never turn red before the frosts get them.  It's frustrating because this year has been terrible for my tomatoes.  The spring was unseasonably cold up until June and then it went straight to 90 degree weather.  So I got only 10 ripe tomatoes this year.  And yet here are dozens of big beautiful green ones on the plants just a week away from red deliciousness if it were only warm enough. 

Yesterday a hard frost was predicted for our area so I went out and pulled all our tomato plants and then harvested every good sized green tomato I could find.  I decided I didn't want to bother with the whole covering up the plants every night in the hopes of getting a few red ones.  Also I detest pulling tomato plants that have been frosted on.  Not only do they turn disgustingly slimy and gross, but they also seem to be considered some sort of gastronomic delicacy to wasps.  So while your handling the slimy vines you also are being attacked by stinging insects.  In my life its just easier to pull them up and throw them in the truck bed to take them to the dump.

After that I brought them all inside I went through and weeded out any damaged ones and wiped off all the good ones I carried them down to the basement and put them in a single layer to slowly ripen.  

Green tomatoes don't need sunlight to ripen (contrary to popular belief) and actually do better if ripened slowly in a dark well ventilated room like a basement.  I got the instructions on what to do from my much loved and useful book The Encyclopedia of Country Living.  There is of course a whole section on what to do with green tomatoes and recipe ideas.  With luck we will still be eating tomatoes into November.


  1. Not sure if fried green tomatoes are included in the Encyclopedia (I have ordered mine, but haven't got it yet), but that's my favorite use for green tomatoes. Slice thin, like to put on a sandwich or burger, dust with flour, salt, and pepper, then fry in a little oil until golden brown. An easy to make side that goes with just about any meat!

  2. Yes, fried green tomatoes! Whenever I can! I dunk them in egg/milk wash and then dredge them with half flour, half bread crumbs. Also pickled green tomatoes (with a couple of rings of onion in the jar with them, and possibly a slip of spicy red pepper).

  3. I just tried fried green tomatoes last night and have to say they were yummy. I've never tried them before and used a recipie from The Encyclopedia of Country Living. I'm very glad I threw caution to the wind and made them. I can see making them often now.


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