Q: How can I ripen bananas in two days? I'm making banana bread and the bananas are not quite ripe enough. Is there a fast way to ripen bananas? Mariska Rehs, Beavercreek, OH
A: When you're making banana bread, you want your bananas to be as ripe as possible. The easiest way is to, as each bunch of bananas progresses further towards black, freeze them in a plastic bag, adding more with each bunch, until you have enough for bread. If you don't have enough in the freezer, or you're starting from scratch, the fastest way is to put the bananas in a paper bag on the countertop with an apple. Why? Apples emit ethylene gases, which cause certain fruits (like pears and bananas) to ripen faster. Starting with green bananas, paper-bagging them should give you ripe bananas in a day and perfect bread-ready bananas in a day and a half.