At some point anyone who gardens where there will be frost must decide what they will do with the end of season green tomatoes.
There are basically 3 things you can choose:
1. Freeze them
You can simply slice, place on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once they are frozen, place in a container or plastic bag. By freezing them individually, they won’t all be stuck together.
This way you can thaw and have fried green tomatoes throughout the winter.
A Facebook friend of mine says you can actually prep them first, then individually freeze, making them ready to fry with no defrosting needed.
2. Can them.
Green tomato relish is a wonderful alternative to many other, commercially processed, condiments. You can also pickle green tomatoes, make mincemeat from them, or add to your sauerkraut.
All of these are a great way to free up a little freezer space and instead fill up the larder shelves.
3. Let them ripen.
The most common way to ripen tomatoes indoors is to wrap them individually in newspaper or brown lunch bags, place in a dark spot, and keep an eye on them.
If you have a lot of tomatoes, this can be rather tedious. You really have to watch so that you get to them when they are ready.
A little easier is to place them loosely in an airy basket and put that in a dark spot. This makes it easier to see which ones are ready first.
We also tried George Washington Carver’s method of hanging them upside down to ripen on the vine. We learned the hard way to trim off the excess leaves first, or you will be soon sweeping them up. Again you want the tomatoes out of direct light, and preferably in a warm area.
We like this method the best. We just hung them in a spare room and ‘picked’ them as they ripened.
This year we have so many volunteer plants they set fruit late, that we will likely be doing some of each method… and counting our blessings along the way.