May 11, 2016, posted by Gina – One of my favorite things about moving from spring into summer is finding fresh, beautiful tomatoes at the farmers market close to my house. After a long winter of using cherry tomatoes I am ecstatic about finding these red jewels for the first time of the season.
I have been buying tomatoes that come from Florida for about a month now and they are pretty good. They’re not as good as homegrown, middle of the season tomatoes but they are certainly a welcome change. The other day I was selecting a few and an elderly lady beside me was doing the same. She was quick to tell me that the tomatoes we were looking at were very large and that I should give them time to ripen. At that moment I was carried back in time to my grandmother’s kitchen where her windowsill always held a few fresh tomatoes. I told the lady that I usually purchased them days in advance of eating them and placed them on my windowsill. She told me she does the same with a tone that indicated she’d never considered there could be any other ripening process.
This got me to thinking about exactly why we put tomatoes on the windowsill. So after a little research, I found that it is the temperature and not the light that helps to ripen the tomatoes.
While the science behind all of the research is interesting (ripening inhibitors, ethylene, epigenetic variation and such) the main thing to remember is to purchase them in advance and give them time to ripen.
Today the ones I bought are perched on a ledge on my back porch (not the windowsill this time!) and I know they will be deliciously ripe in a few days.
I remember her tomatoes all lined up on her windowsill! Speaking of grandmother things to do .. do you remember that she used to throw coffee grounds out in her flower beds too?