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A Tomato Question?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by DaisyM on September 21, 2006 12:00 AM
Does anyone know if tomato's that are just starting to change into the yellow or orange state still retain natural flavors and low acid when picked and ripened indoors? Every night I worry about frost freezing my tomato plants, so I've been picking just the ones that are starting to change color slightly from green to yellowish. I find if I pick them all green and let them ripen indoors, they are just too acidic for me not to mention, the taste isn't quite the same as a vine ripened one?
by Tomacco on September 21, 2006 01:29 AM
I'll be anxious to see an answer to your question, DaisyM. Today I picked 26 green tomatoes from 5 plants. I mean they're green and very firm. Tonight it's supposed to get down to 40 degrees F and I also don't know if what I have left on the vines will just die there.

I may have planted mine too late (started from seed, planted seedlings mid May). We had tons of rain this summer. Could be the problem.

I see lots of yellow leaves on the trees signaling Fall is here... drat...

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Tomacco

That coffee was so strong, it swallowed the cream...
http://s98.photobucket.com/albums/l268/Tomacco1/
by DaisyM on September 21, 2006 01:43 AM
Tomacco, We have the same problem here, everynight I'm watching the forecast for frost warnings. In the past when I was forced to pick them when they were too green, they just don't have the same taste as vine ripened. Since I can't eat anything too acidic, I've found them too problematic for me...although this may not be a problem for anyone else...good luck on yours. Looking on the positive side, even the green ones ripened indoors still taste better than the store bought ones...
by Tomacco on September 21, 2006 03:17 AM
AND they're way less expensive!

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Tomacco

That coffee was so strong, it swallowed the cream...
http://s98.photobucket.com/albums/l268/Tomacco1/
by papito on September 21, 2006 03:42 AM
You could place the harvested green tomatoes or tomatoes that are just showing color in brown paper bag with an apple or banana. Either one will speed up the ripening process. The paper bags should be placed in a cool, dry place in the house [do not refrigerate]. The slow ripening process of the tomatoes [with an apple or banana] will retain the flavor similar to vine-riped tomatoes to some degree.

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Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.
by DaisyM on September 21, 2006 05:53 AM
How about placing them in a sunny window sill?
Papito you mention putting them in a bag with an apple or bananna, but will putting them in a bag with a ripened tomato work just the same?
by Tomacco on September 21, 2006 06:29 AM
I just stuffed 26 'maters in a paper sack with a banana. I'll let you know what I end up with after (I'm assuming) a week, Daisy [Smile]

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Tomacco

That coffee was so strong, it swallowed the cream...
http://s98.photobucket.com/albums/l268/Tomacco1/
by papito on September 21, 2006 06:38 AM
Light is not necessary for ripening of tomatoes.

Yes, ripened tomatoes will do, as well as other fruits such as apples, avocados, bananas, melons, peaches and pears which releases ethylene gas.

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Amor est vitae essentia.
Love is the essence of life.
by DaisyM on September 21, 2006 08:55 AM
Tomacco, what do you plan on doing with all those tomato's once they turn red..lets see...tomato sandwiches, tomato salad...tomato soup...tomato kabobs...tomato sauce...hey..I think you could use more tomato's...you can have some of mine..hee hee
by Tomacco on September 21, 2006 10:21 AM
That's okay. I have over like 15 jades and over 200 jade-lings. The tomato queen crown is all yours [Smile]

New brand of V-8 Juice ya got brewing North of the 49? hahaha!

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Tomacco

That coffee was so strong, it swallowed the cream...
http://s98.photobucket.com/albums/l268/Tomacco1/
by DaisyM on September 21, 2006 10:52 AM
Gee thanks...forgot the tomato juice..
by Deborah L. on September 21, 2006 11:33 AM
Nobody's doing fried green tomatoes????? [Eek!] [Big Grin]

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by DaisyM on September 21, 2006 11:47 AM
Fried green tomato's..wasn't there a movie called Fried Green Tomato's?

Don't think I've ever tried frying them...got the recipe???
by ChristinaC on September 21, 2006 11:51 AM
You can also pickle green tomatoes and make green tomato relish.
I generally let as many as I can ripen on my window sill. I've never noticed the acidic taste that you've mentioned. [dunno]

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by DaisyM on September 21, 2006 12:10 PM
Whew...never realized just how many things we can do with the ole tomato? As for the red ones..notice that we usually have more than we can handle at this time, but in a month or so (atleast in this area) we'll have to pay over $2.00 a pound for them?
by Sorellina on September 23, 2006 12:42 AM
Ciao DaisyM,

Where in Canuckieland are you? In Toronto, they're calling for a low of 3C on Monday night so I'll be covering my plants. Do you do any canning because that might be a way for you to use your less than ideally ripe tomatoes without sacrificing much flavour.

I've never tried fried green tomatoes either. I don't like frying things unless it's something like eggplant in olive oil for eggplant parmesan (which I have to make a ton of this weekend..10 eggplants in the fridge and a bazillion more on my plants).

Cheers,
Julianna

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by Deborah L. on September 23, 2006 02:32 AM
Daisy, avocados are $2 here now, and already tomatoes are higher.
Does anyone do sun-dried tomatoes? I can't recall any posts about this topic.
I haven't used a recipe for frying tomatoes, I just batter them and toss 'em in some good olive oil. Same with zucchini.
I did see a few recipes in the "Recipes" here in the forum.

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by Deborah L. on September 23, 2006 02:35 AM
Sorellina, can you believe I have NEVER had eggplant? And it sounds soooooo good too.
I think maybe I'm apprehensive about trying to cook it properly.

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by mrw on September 23, 2006 04:13 AM
And even at $2.00 a pound they will have NO flavor! [Eek!]
by Sorellina on September 23, 2006 07:50 AM
Ciao Deborah,

Maybe you just need a bit of experience..try a couple over the winter from the store..if you can follow a recipe, which I know you can, you'll be fine. Eggplant has little flavour on its own..it's kind of mushroomy, but it soaks up whatever it's cooked with and takes wonderfully to being breaded and fried in olive oil or baked.

Buona fortuna,
Julianna

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by Deborah L. on September 23, 2006 08:02 AM
Thanks ! I heard that the eggplant slices should be soaked in salty water or something - I'll look at a cookbook and see. Or recipes online.
Do you prefer to use EVOO?
Sure sounds like you have some good gardening and cooking going on there !
I always enjoy your posts and thought I should say so. [wavey]

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by ChristinaC on September 23, 2006 09:55 AM
Hi Deborah [wavey]
You should lightly season them with salt and set them on a wire rack over the sink or on top of paper towels or something. The salt will draw the excess moisture out of them. You then rinse the salt off them, pat them dry and proceed from there. I usually then brush them with olive oil infused with fresh garlic and bake them in the oven. They're a wonderful addition to an antipasto platter.
Christina

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by Sorellina on September 23, 2006 10:56 PM
Ciao Deborah,

Christina's got it goin on..that's what you do..just lightly salt and kind of toss the slices so they've all got a bit of salt on them...rinsing is key if you don't want a really salty dish. What's EVOO?

Cheers,
Julianna, who blushes at compliments

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by DaisyM on September 23, 2006 11:15 PM
So far so good, no frost! A couple of weeks more would help so much. I have a cherry tomato plant that has grown to about 10 ft judging by the height of my fence. I don't know what it is about cherry tomato's this year, but they just don't want to ripen. I have plenty of them and they are in a darkish green stage. The plant itself is so large and tied up to my fence in so many places, that it is extremely difficult to put a cover over it to protect it from the frost?
by Deborah L. on September 24, 2006 11:43 AM
Thanks, Christina ! That helps !
Julianna, WHAT !!!! A good Italian woman and I hafta explain EVOO???? Just teasing you - it means "extra virgin olive oil". [Wink]

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by Sorellina on September 25, 2006 10:49 PM
Ciao Deb,

If you know anything about wops, it's that we don't do things the easy-peasy-fast way..acronyms are absolutely in that category, lol.

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by weezie13 on September 25, 2006 11:30 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Deborah L.:
Do you prefer to use EVOO?

Are you a Rachel Ray fan??????
She's coined that phrase...

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Deborah L. on September 26, 2006 02:47 AM
Yes, Weez, she rules !
Sorellina, I can tell you take a great deal of effort in all of that good cooking - not to mention tomato gardening !

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by Sorellina on September 26, 2006 07:06 PM
Ciao all,

Ohhhhh Rachel Ray, well no wonder, that woman's voice could peel paint, I don't care for her show. Plus she talks too fast and moves too fast and cooks too fast.

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by johnCT on September 26, 2006 08:23 PM
Rachel ray?! Ugh. Gag me with a fork! [Big Grin] Much to chipper for me.

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John - Zone 6
by Sorellina on September 26, 2006 10:22 PM
LOL John, I'm really starting to love you a lot.

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by Deborah L. on September 27, 2006 02:04 AM
Actually, the chef I like best is the Southern lady, Paula Deen. I LOVE her kitchen set.
RR is OK, but not a fave. I feel that her laugh is very "put-on". Kinda turns me off.

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by Deborah L. on October 01, 2006 08:00 AM
Doesn't anyone grow those tomatoes that are picked green and ripe and store indoors?
You know, winter keepers, I think they're called.
Are those any good?

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by chrissy fair on October 01, 2006 08:48 AM
havent had a single tomato all summer...my plants did just fine, but no flowering nor any fruit, then at the end of the season I noticed a MASS BLOOSOMING and now I have tomatoes coming out of my ears !
fried my biggest ones up with alittle salt and pepper and served them up as a side dish, family loved them...still waiting on them to ripen up and turn color for me.(My tomatoes not my family)
The weather here has been around high 70 to mid 80's and that when they bloomed...why on earth did that happen?? was it because the weather was SO hot (over 100) all summer long?? My sister never had that problem before, but this year the same thing happened to her tomatoes too.
by Deborah L. on October 01, 2006 08:53 AM
Might have been a lack of bees? It was hot down here too.
We're good for a couple of months weather-wise.
Enjoy all your tomatoes !

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by chrissy fair on October 01, 2006 09:19 AM
but tomatoes are self pollitaing I thought???!!!
they grow GREAT in the hot house with no bees...I think all of California suffered from a heat wave this past summer.
by Deborah L. on October 01, 2006 10:03 AM
I didn't know that tomatoes are self pollinating. Wow !
Wasn't that humid heat in June awful? I was sooooooooooo sick from it.

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by Deborah L. on October 04, 2006 03:54 AM
I just thought of something. If tomatoes are self- pollinating, why do the books say to wiggle the flowers from time to time?
Just when I think I "get it" I get confused again. ARGH !

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by johnCT on October 04, 2006 07:28 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Deborah L.:
If tomatoes are self- pollinating, why do the books say to wiggle the flowers from time to time?
Just when I think I "get it" I get confused again. ARGH !

Flicking the blossoms helps the process along. It helps the release of pollen from the stamen inside the flower. Tomatoes are self-pollinating as long as insects stay away. They do nothing but CROSS-pollinate. [Mad] If you look closely when you flick the flowers you can see the poof of pollen.

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John - Zone 6
by Tomacco on October 04, 2006 07:54 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Tomacco on Sept 21:
I just stuffed 26 'maters in a paper sack with a banana. I'll let you know what I end up with after (I'm assuming) a week, Daisy [Smile]
Only one was ripening with the banana method (too many, I bet). So I wrapped each in newspaper and layered them in a sack. WOW! What a difference! It was like Christmas this morning! 20 red tomatoes!

Thanks so much, papito, for the tip! This is the only 2006 harvest that actually made it to 'fruition!' [muggs]

How are everyone elses?

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Tomacco

That coffee was so strong, it swallowed the cream...
http://s98.photobucket.com/albums/l268/Tomacco1/
by Deborah L. on October 05, 2006 07:13 AM
John, you mean that the tomato is a plant that actually does NOT need bees? That is actually messed up by bees?
What other plants wouldn't need them?

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by amy7467 on October 14, 2006 11:12 PM
Tomacco,

I was so excited to read that you had some success! We are getting dangerously close to frost and I have a good many green tomatoes yet. When you wrapped them, did you wrap each tomato with a banana? I don't have enough bananas! Or just newspaper between the layers, with a banana at each layer? Details please! I want to eek out every red one I can get!

Amy
by weezie13 on October 14, 2006 11:19 PM
I bring them in, complete with parts of their
stems they were growing on, and put them in a
cardboard box... in like our dining room, or a room that is warmer than say like your backroom or a mud room that may be chillier...

I'm near Buffalo and it's that time of year when all is DONE! [Eek!] [Eek!]

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by Sorellina on October 15, 2006 12:35 AM
Ciao Weezie,

Hope you stocked up on hot cocoa. Got your computer working, I see so the electicity is up and running at your place, good thing. Sheesh, nice Friday the 13th this year, eh?

Warm hugs,
Julianna

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by weezie13 on October 15, 2006 12:40 AM
I never lost any power/electricity here, Julianna...
It all went up North of me,
towards Buffalo and Niagra Falls area..
*the closest it got to me was about a
half an hour in East Aurora/Holland area..*

Go to "I've got snow" *in Gardener's Chat* towards the end, I posted a picture from the
airport in there..
posted on our plight...

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Weezie

Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

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http://photobucket.com/albums/y250/weezie13/
by DaisyM on October 15, 2006 05:04 AM
Some of the green tomatos I picked before the frost started ripening in the house, so I skinned them and made some sauce to put into jars. When I tasted it, it was tastless with a sharp edge to it. I don't know what is missing, but I am disappointed? They were red, so I must be doing something wrong with the way I am ripening them, because they lack the taste and natural sugar they normally have in them. Anyone else having luck with theirs, and I'm not talking about red tomato's, that I've got, it's the taste! There is none!
by Tomacco on October 15, 2006 11:16 PM
quote:
Originally posted by amy7467:
Tomacco,

I was so excited to read that you had some success! We are getting dangerously close to frost and I have a good many green tomatoes yet. When you wrapped them, did you wrap each tomato with a banana? I don't have enough bananas! Or just newspaper between the layers, with a banana at each layer? Details please! I want to eek out every red one I can get!

Amy

Amy, I wrapped each tomato in 2 layers of newspaper and twisted the ends (like a popcorn ball). Yes I layered them in a couple of paper bags and folded the tops down enough to close. No banana.

I agree with DaisyM. The taste was definitely subpar to "warm and ripe from the vine." If I didn't have so much going on in the greenhouse & kitchen, I would have done tomatoes Weezie-style!

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Tomacco

That coffee was so strong, it swallowed the cream...
http://s98.photobucket.com/albums/l268/Tomacco1/
by amy7467 on October 16, 2006 09:26 AM
Ok, I put some in a bag with a banana last night and they have already started to redden. I'm going to try some in a box like you do Weezie and see if they do as well or better. I just love my tomatoes and want to have tomato sandwiches as long as possible! Thanks for the advice!

amy
by Sorellina on October 17, 2006 12:53 AM
Ciao Amy,

I've got over 200lbs of green tomatoes spread out on my laundry room folding table right now. I'm not counting on any of these for BLTs, it would definitely be a disappointing experience. I use my end of season tomatoes primarily for puree, diced tomatoes, sauce, and heavily-seasoned things like chili sauce or relish. I'm definitely going to try using some of my green ones that won't ripen for mincemeat and relish. But BLTs or bruschetta? No, that's for the height of the season when the sun ripens the tomatoes and they're warm to the touch when you pick them. Those days are history.

Cheers and best of luck with your tomatoes,
Julianna

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