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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Preserving food by drying

In my previous entry, I talked about dehydrating my onions. I can't stand to waste my hard earned veggies, so before they can go bad, I will place them in a dehydrator and store them in a recycled mayo jar, until there comes a time that I can turn them into something else. Dehydrated onions can be used to make onion powder or thrown into your favorite soup recipes.

Besides my onions, I dehydrated tomatoes and sweet peppers. My orchard hasn't began to come in yet, but fruits will be on my list later. With fruits you can make fruit leather {fruit roll-ups} I thought about that while making strawberry jam one day.

For drying my herbs, I place them in a paper bag {something that I can reuse} and hang them up outside. As long as the threat of rain is non existent, I can keep the bagged herbs outside, where air can circulate until they are fully dried. I also store these in recycled glass jars.

Sun drying, I have attempted this and have yet to be successful. I tried it with my tomatoes, placing them on a try and covering them with cheese cloth to keep bugs and animals off of them. I brought the trays in a night to keep the tomatoes from re-hydrating, yet I still ended up with mold. Maybe it is too humid here. I will try again this year.

I was asked what does one do with beets. Beets? I have never really cared for them. Our second year at gardening, my husband accidently picked up a packet of beet seeds. He claims he thought they were radishes {I know he can read} We planted them any way, and got back more than enough for our needs. {As the confused husband is the only one that eats them} But for those of you that end up getting lots of beets and have no more ideas as to what to do with them here is a few recipes.

Beet Roulade


Pasta and Beet salad

edited; 1/28/07 The beet recipe links are dead, if you want the recipes, please ask for them.

removed amazon link, I am no longer using them.


Chip said...

Thanks for the beet recipes. I'm a beet lover and ours in the garden are just getting to the point where we can pull them. I like to roast them (45-60 minutes at 400F) and then toss them with a little vinegar, salt & pepper. Let them sit for a half hour then mix in a splash or two of oil. Oh, so good.

[Thanks also for the tip on eating local you left over at Cookthink. Appreciate it.]

jbwritergirl said...

I checked out your mushroom site to see exactly what my 'Dick Weed' was and at last know it's real name, although I prefer mine, lol.

These things are crazy!


Phelan said...

HA! Yes "dick weed" seems more appropriate.

Andrew said...

Your still going on about that Dick Weed. I gotta get my self one of dyrhydratores. I always end with extra hot peppers, so I hang them to dry. THe food dehrydrater is probally a better choice.

Merry said...

Thanks for the beet recipes!! I'll check them out when I get home later; probably while the manage dude is "fixing" the heat - again. :D

lisa said...

I have had sucess with chopping and freezing onions, too. I usually bag them in 1/2 and 1 cup increments, then pull them out to toss into a recipe or pan to saute. Only a little extra water is produced, and usually evaporates. I also have a great "lazy trick" for storing extra tomatoes-freeze them whole! When they thaw, the skins just fall of, effectively "blanching" themselves. Keeps your kitchen cool in the summer if you don't feel like canning, but it does take up more freezer space. (I cannot stand to waste veggies, either.)

Phelan said...

I don't have very much room in my freezer, so canning is a must. I planned on talking about freezing today, but still had a few questions to answer about drying. Oh, and thanks for the Johnny info, someday I will be able to tease him on that ;)

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