We had a spectacular Fall in Chicago with lots of sun and warm temperatures. Usually October is fried green tomatoes month for us, but this year after the leaves had fallen off the birch tree in our backyard they got a good couple weeks of sun and many of them ripened on the vine.  Here’s your picture of empty plates:

While on the subject here’s a trick for ripening your green tomatoes when the sun won’t do it for you.  Bring them inside and put then in a paper bag along with some bananas.  Ethylene gas stimulates the ripening process and bananas, the champions of ripening, put out a lot of it.

We enjoyed our tomatoes with this 2004 Bordeaux, Chateau Lascombes which I must say is drinking perfectly right now.