With the lack of sun, green tomatoes need a helping hand. They can be ripened by placing on a window sill but direct sunlight can make the skins tough. So pick all the fruits before the chance of frost and then store them in a dry dark place. A paper bag is good. Sylvia tells us that as a child she recalls putting them inside a chest of drawers. They will obviously need to be checked regularly to make sure they are collected and eaten at their best.
As fruit and vegetables ripen they release a gas called ethylene, which stimulates the ripening of other fruit. So to speed the ripening up you can put a ripe apple or banana in with the green fruit. If you want to extend your harvest and slow the ripening down store some tomatoes in a cooler location.
If all else fails and your tomatoes stay green there is always green tomato chutney, or fried green tomatoes as seen in the film of the same name!
Green Tomato Chutney
Put 1 pint vinegar and 1lb. Demerara sugar in a pan and heat gently until sugar melts.
1 lb. chopped green tomatoes
1 lb. chopped cooking apples
¼ lb. chopped shallots
½ lb. chopped sultanas
½ lb. white sugar
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of salt
Bring mixture to boil and cook slowly stirring all the time until it thickens
Once again a huge thank you to our wonderful Charlotte Green for sharing this recipe with us!