New book answers pruning questions
Even seasoned gardeners can find themselves puzzled about pruning.
"The Pruning Answer Book" helps clear up the confusion.
The pocket-size book, by the late Lewis Hill and Penelope O'Sullivan, covers the basics such as what to prune when, what equipment to use, how to make the cuts and why pruning is beneficial.
Sections are devoted to different types of plants, and there's one on artistic pruning to create such forms as topiary and espalier.
A plant-by-plant pruning guide in the back of the book lets you find quick guidance on a particular tree, shrub or other plant.
"The Pruning Answer Book" is published by Storey Publishing and sells for $14.95.
Imagine a color and they'll make the tile
Can't find the right color of tile?
Imagine Tile has it covered.
The company lets you custom-order ceramic tile in any color. It uses color-matching technology to formulate a tile glaze that exactly matches the hue of a paint chip, fabric swatch, team logo or anything else you supply.
The tile is available in a variety of sizes and finishes.
The color-matching program is part of Imagine Tile's custom-tile service, which also creates tiles from photos and other images.
Tiles can be ordered at www.imaginetile.com. Prices vary, depending on the size and quantity of the tile ordered and the colors used, but typical prices range from $22 to $30 per square foot for an order of 100 square feet, to $7.50 to $11.50 per square foot for 2,000 square feet.
Viva la salsa! It's one cool condiment
Everyone loves salsa. It's delicious, it's fresh and it has even topped ketchup in some sales reports as America's most popular condiment. Salsa, which means "sauce" in Spanish, can be cooked or raw (also called salsa cruda).
There are endless variations on salsa. Some are made with tomatoes, while salsa verde, or green salsa, includes tomatillos, green chilies and cilantro. Some varieties of salsa are pureed, while others leave chunky pieces of fruits or veggies in the mix.
Don't confuse salsa with relish, a term that refers to cooked, pickled and chopped veggies or fruits.
A half-cup of oil-free salsa (that's eight tablespoons) typically ranges from 25 to 40 calories and contains minimal fat. The jarred varieties typically use a small amount of added fat, and mix-ins, like beans or sweeter fruits, can also raise the calorie count. Check the label for specifics.
Fresh salsa is also healthier than other condiments, like fat-laden mayo, ketchup with high-fructose corn syrup or sugary honey mustard. You also get the benefits of fruits and veggies without added preservatives.
The jarred stuff is a delicious alternative to fatty, sugary condiments, but it's not hard to prep your own. If you're a first-timer, start with a simple chopped tomato salsa.
Just mix together two pounds of plum tomatoes, an onion, one or two yellow bell peppers, one or two jalapenos, a tablespoon of lime juice and salt and fresh cilantro to taste. Finely chop the produce by hand.
Your fresh salsa will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
-- Standard-Examiner wire services