I never gave a final update on what happened with the bananas. In short, they were good, but could have been better.
We were out of town when they ripened; or as ripe as bananas get on the plant. They don’t actually ripen until you cut them off. We are not sure when they became mature since we left town for almost 4 weeks. But they were getting close when we left, and were overcooked by the time we got home.
I cut them off on a Sunday morning and started dividing them up to go to friends that day and the next. We hung about 30 up in our kitchen to ripen and then bagged up the rest. We had close to 170 that were usable. Some had burst on the plant from getting too mature.
One family that we had bagged bananas for did not want them, that gave us another 25 or so to eat on our own. We left them in their bag hung on a door. A couple of days later we found that the ones in the bag were ripening faster than those that were hanging. We had read you were supposed to put a bag around the bunch to ripen them, but I thought that was just to keep the bugs out. Turns out, that is part of the ripening process.
Good thing we had visitors. That week we ate all but 3 of the bananas that we kept. They never really turned completely yellow. I think they were just over mature to look quite right.
I told one of our friend’s daughters that the bananas would not turn yellow and that they should start eating them soon. She could not convince her dad that they were supposedly ready. He did not let them eat them for a few more days (in banana terms, that is an eternity). By the time they tried them they were already pretty mushy. They froze them for future use.