Friday, August 14, 2009

President's Choice Gigantico "Stokes Best" Vegetable Tasting

Great day at the President's Choice Gigantico "Stokes Best" vegetable tasting. Had a beautiful day, even if it was a little hot in the trial gardens. At least it was not raining. Now this was the way to spend the day!!

This is what Julie thought of the tastings.

Big Beef
Big Beef is a meaty red beefsteak tomato weighing 10-12 oz/280-340 g. The flavour is outstanding with a good sugar to acid ratio. Disease tolerant plants will flower, set fruit and ripen continuously during the growing season. Staking is required.
My thoughts: Beefsteak tomatoes are not my favourite. To me they are too watery and lack in flavour - OK

Carolina Gold:
Beautiful, unique, tangerine/gold tomatoes have a nice, mild acidic flavour and add colour to salads, sandwiches, etc. This beef tomatoe is very adaptable, and its strong, determinate plant produces 8-10 oz/227-280 g fruit thoughout the season. To maximize yield potential, staking is recommended.
My thoughts: Large, meaty, less acid. LOVE IT!!! Rivals Husky Gold - Great

Ultra Sweet:
An early medium sized (10oz/280 g) red beefsteak type. Firm, crack resistant fuit have an outstanding balance of sugar/acids that results in excellent flavour. For best results, stake plants.
This tomato is from Japan. The male parent is a pink tomato. It has less acid and has the 'nipple gene' (the bottom of the tomato has a point) This reduces but does not eliminate bottom end rot.
My thoughts: Love this tomato!! We have Ultra Sweet tomato in our garden & it is performing extremely well even in this wet summer!! - Great

This heritage variety is considered by many as one of the best tasting tomatoes ever. Fruit are huge (10-16oz/280-454 g) and pinkish red with some striping. Easy to grow, Brandywine tomatoes are a boon to any garden and are sure to give you a bounty of big, juicy tomatoes blessed with old fashioned taste. Semi-determinate potato leaf plant should be staked.
My thoughts: Brandywine is in our garden. Have been harvesting it for the last 2 weeks as we transplanted our tomatoes on May 9, 2009. Some catface, typical of heritage tomatoes. Watery. Bruce says it tastes like Brandywine. - Do not particularly like Brandywine.

Window Box Roma
Window Box Roma has been specially bred to produce yield after yield of wonderful, pear-shaped, 2-2 1/2 oz/56-70 g fruit with excellent flavour and extra-long shelf life. Dark green foliage on an upright, dwarf plants looks as pretty as a picture in containers, planters & patio pots.
My thoughts: This tomato is in our garden. Doing really well. Meaty, roma tomato. Great for dehydrating!! - Great

Patio Hybrid
Compact and upright, determinate plants require only 2 in/5 cm stakes and produce their fruits from the bottom of the plant. Bushy, 25 in /63 cm tall, dwarf plants are compact and grow well in containers. Vigourous and productive with 4 oz/102 g deep oblate, medium-sized fruit. Very easy to grow.
My thoughts: OK

Health Kick
Heavy yields of brilliant dark red paste tomatoes that average 4 oz/112 g. High in lycopene. An excellent meaty tomato for salads, paste, sauce or to sun dry. Determinate plants - may need staking.
My thoughts: LOVE, LOVE this tomato!! This tomato has been a staple in our garden for quite a few years. Meaty, excellent for dehydrating!!

Plum Crimson
Health Kick will not be available in 2010 - substitute for Health Kick is 'Plum Crimson'
My thoughts: I do not think that Plum Crimson is a good as Health Kick. - Must find Health Kick!!

Golden Honey Bunch
Vigourous plant produces vines with clusters of 10 to 20 fruits. The oval shaped fruit averages 1/4 oz/9 g and are very sweet. First golden grape tomato - Kids will gobble these up!
My thoughts: LOVE LOVE this tomato!! This tomato is in our garden & we absolutely love it. Definitely sweet like candy!!! It does crack with this wet summer!!

Cupid is an indeteminate fresh market grape tomato. It has a vigorous platn that sets clusters of 16 small 3/8 oz/10 g grape tomatoes with a high sugar content. The oval-shaped fruit have an excellent red colour and a sweet flavour.
My thoughts: This tomato is in our garden. Not performing very well. It could be the wet summer. Could be discontinued for 2010 & substituted for "Red Candy" or "Peppolino"

Brand new, cherry red tomato.
My thoughts: Great meaty. Daughter loves this tomato!!

Red Candy
Brand new, cherry red tomato.
My thoughts: Meaty

Basket Vee
Open pollinated, heritage tomato. More disease resistant.
My thoughts: Meaty, OK

Hanging basket or container plant
My thoughts: OK

Primo Red
Brand new, beefsteak type tomato. Has nipple gene.
My thoughts: Did not get to taste this one as it was still too green. Looked meaty.

Kapia type. NOT a bell pepper, more like a Shepherd. Sweet, excellent for containers.
My thoughts: Love this pepper. Daughter likes this pepper and she does not like peppers!!

Bell Boy
This All America Selections Winner has very thick smooth walls. Large 4 1/2x 3 1/2 in/11x9 cm fruit ripens dark green to red. An excellent pepper fresh or stuffed.

Orange Grande
Good yields of green, turning to a beautiful orange jumbo 5 1/2 /14 cm peppers. Fruit have nice thick walls and remain firm at maturity. Either colour tastes great!
My thoughts: Very nice pepper.

Great tasting early bell pepper. Redstart has fantastic yields of dark green 3 3/4 in/9 cm thick walled fruit. Ripens to a dark red by September.

El Jeffe Jalapeno
Very high quality jalapeno fruit has thick walls, a small cavity and is more cylindrical in shape than most. Matures dark green to red and has good disease tolerances.

This All America Selections Winner is an excellent slicing cucumber with notable yield, dwarf plant habit and improved disease tolerances. These high quality flavourable cucumbers grow to a length of 8-9 in / 20-23 cm. A great variety for container gardening as it is easily trained to a trellis.
My thoughts: Compact plant. Great for containers. Crisp, love this cucumber.

Tasty Bright
An extra early burpless non bitter type that can be grown outdoors. Tasty Bright has crisp, dark green fruit with a mild flavour. Lenght averages 9 in/23 cm, with 1 1/2 in/3.8 cm width. Similar to the long narrow English-type cucumbers that come shrink-wrapped in the grocery store. The plants will grow much better, with longer and straighter cucumbers if trellised.
My thoughts: OK

Radiant is a medium-green zucchini hybrid with smooth, cylindrical fruit. It has a small plant that sets well for high yield potential. Very smooth skin is medium dark green with attractive flecks. Straight, slightly tapered fruit average 7-8 in/18-20 cm in size.
Less prickly hairs for when picking!

Classy Chassis
One of the best tear drop type eggplants. Deep purple, glossy black fruit average 8 1/4 in /22 cm deep, 4 in/10 cm wide with green calyx. Plants are 36 in /90 cm.
My thoughts: Great looking upright plants. Great for containers. Nice looking tear drop fruit

Milan is a perennial ever-bearing strawberry with excellent yields. The plants are attractive with dark green glossy leaves, prettywhite flowers and medium sized very sweet berries. Attractive planted in pots or containers, but they need to be transplanted into the ground to over-winter.

Peach Drambuie Jam

Peach Drambuie Jam

4 cups finely chopped peaches, about 5-6 medium
2 tbsp lemon juice
6 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp Drambuie
1 pouch (85 ml) liquid fruit pectin

Combine Drambuie, peaches, lemon juice and sugar in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan.
Bring to a full boil over high heat and boil hard for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat and stir in pectin.
Ladle into sterilized jars and process in a water bath for 5 minutes.

Makes 6 cups (1.5 L)

The Beginner's Guide to Preserving Food at Home - Book Review

Absolutely Excellent book!!

This is one of the best books on Preserving Food at Home. I love the way that it has recipes at the back of the book so you can use what you have canned. Great idea.

Excellent chapters on choosing equipment, root cellar storage, sun drying fruit leathers, canning as well as freezing & many others.

Tried the boiled Chicken recipe and it turned out absolutely wonderful. Now must try the Meatloaf and Meatball recipes.