We have been talking about canning lately. My husband suddenly asked one question to us: "If there was only one thing we could do for canning this year which one would you picked?" Without hesitation all the kids and I answered - TOMATOES! Why? Because with them we can make salsa, diced tomatoes and tomato base for spaghetti sauces.
I have a dream to have a garden - a big one... only problem is the space we have in our backyard. Living in the city we are sort of limited in the area we have (especially with a play structure... One day I hope to be able to move in a house with acreage where we could have a nice garden with tons of vegetables and maybe fruits.
So when I was offered to review some titles of the Gardening Boutique at DK Canada, I was immediately drawn to this book simply because we love tomatoes.
This book contains everything you need to know about growing tomatoes in your garden. It will highlight the most reliable and highest-yielding plants, the sweetest fruits (because let's face it not everyone like the sour taste), and all the various shapes and colours available. Going through this book made me remember the Tomato Festival we stumbled upon while cruising Prince Edward County in Ontario one year. We were simply driving in the little roads discovering the various wine producers there when we saw a sign about a tomato festival. We stopped and were in awe with all the varieties offered there. It was a feast for the eye and we were able to taste some samples.
The book also gives you plenty of advice on every aspect of growing tomatoes outdoors whether in the ground, in growing bags, pots or hanging baskets. You will also be able to identify pests and diseases before they can destroy your crop with the help of some useful charts. Finally, the book is completed with over 30 recipes and ideas on how to preserve your tomatoes. The book is packed with stunning pictures and great information about this vegetable (or is it a fruit?).
The book has three mains chapters:
The Tomatoes: This section will present you everything you need to know about the tomato - plant, leaves, fruits, flavor, benefits, which ones are best for sauces and salsas, which ones are best for soup, which ones are best for salad, and comparisons between the various kinds.
In the Garden: This specific chapter will cover everything about growing tomatoes and how to care for them - which kind is the best for your climate, where should you grow them?, how to prepare the soil, should you use seeds or plantlets?, planting, crop rotation and much more.
In the Kitchen: Finally, this chapter will guide you in the preparation, the cooking and the preserving of tomatoes. It also highlight some interesting recipes at the end.
Remember my little comment about tomato being a vegetable or a fruit? Well my husband has this saying about it - if you can't put it in ice cream then it's a vegetable. We have always debated about whether the tomato is a vegetable or a fruit and he always ends the conversation with this. So imagine my surprise when in the middle of the recipes suggested in this book you have the Tomato and mascarpone ice cram with raspberries. Ah! Here you go the perfect proof to my husband that tomato is a fruit after all! *grin*