Every year, I have the same dilemma. Since we generally don't have very hot summers around here, inevitably at the end of the summer growing season I still have a bunch of tomatoes left on the vine, but they are all green with no signs of ripening in their near future.
A few weeks ago, I went outside and clipped the 10 or so tomatoes that I had left and brought them inside. After doing a bit o' research I decided how I was going to not only store them, but also coax them into ripening. Since we don't have any newspaper on hand (since we cancelled the NY Times a while ago), I couldn't individually wrap them and store them in a box, like some people suggested.
One method that looked intriguing to me was to place the tomatoes in a paper bag with an apple and store them that way. Why the apple you ask? Well, the apple puts off ethylene gas, which helps the tomatoes to ripen. Since I had all the appropriate items for that storage and ripening method, I gave it a whirl (this is a little more difficult way to store them if you have a ton of them).
I placed the tomatoes in the bag with an apple for ripening, folded over the top and secured the whole deal with a binder clip. A week or so ago, I went to check the tomatoes and found that two or three of them had molded up - probably because they had some small bruise on them that I didn't notice. The rest were still green. Not green, turning red, but green-white. There was no hope in sight, but I dutifully folded the bag back up after composting the moldy ones and promptly went back to ignoring the whole lot.
Last weekend I decided to take a peek and make sure no other tomatoes were going moldy, and lo and behold! But, what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a big ole juicy, red tomato staring back at me! And, another one with a little red blush working through the skin. I peeked again last night and they are all almost ripe. So, here's to ripe, homegrown tomatoes in mid-November!
What's your favorite method of ripening green tomatoes off the vine?