By Linda, Everett Public Library staff
Did you know that canning tomatoes can cause Clostridium botulinum?
I found this information on pages 13 & 18 in the book Preserving Italy by Domenica Marchetti. This book shows how to safely preserve most Italian foods. While I’ve always thought of tomatoes as being highly acidic, in fact they aren’t and can be very dangerous if acid (lemon juice or citric acid) aren’t added to kill the botulinum in the canning process. The Idiots Guide to Canning and Preserving by Trish Sebben-Krupka and America’s Test Kitchen Foolproof Preserving both have step by step instructions with photos that make canning easy.
What do you need to do before you can can a tomato? You have to grow them! Richard Bird wrote How to Grow Tomatoes with directions on starting them, preparing the soil, and tips for keeping them frost free or growing them in a green house. We actually have many gardening books that will help you grow your own vegetable garden.
Big brother Charlie helps his little sister Lola eat veggies she couldn’t ever imagine eating in I Will Not Ever Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child. Reading this book, you will discover that tomatoes are actually “moonsquirters!”
I love eating fried green tomatoes, and I loved the book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café by Fannie Flagg. This is a very empowering book and shows the kind of gumption it takes to pick yourself up and keep going.
Lastly, have you ever seen a singing tomato? Veggie Tales DVDs have Bob the Tomato and his friends going on adventures and singing. One episode featuring Bob is Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry’s Big River Rescue. Fun for the whole family!