Dry Before the Storm
They are calling for severe thunderstorms today, so I high tailed it out this morning to harvest some dehydrator fodder before doing so becomes a life-threatening proposition!
Today I took handfuls of , starting from left to right, of Cilantro (remember to designate a “Mother Plant” who will not be cut, but whose purpose is to produce seed for next year. Where do you think I got this year’s seed from?), Chocolate Mint, plus a tray of Parsley, Chamomile and Honeysuckle flower buds (these are wonderful to have dried for winter sore throat season, for which they make a tasty and soothing herbal tea), and another of Chives. Snip, snip and into the dehydrator they go!
I am very pleased with my new dehydrator. I have only had it three days, but I have barely shut it off since and have already processed Swiss Chard, Oregano, strawberries and now these herbs. I had one years ago, but quickly lost interest in it, as it not only sounded like a jet engine taking off int he next room, but also burned things to a crisp on one side and barely dried them on the other. It was also a bottom fan model, so the juices all dripped right into the motor, which I’m sure cannot be a good thing.
I love home canned goods, and would be very sad if there were no canned Strawberry Jam in the winter, but they are bulky, so many things will be beginning their storage life in the dehydrator this year.
I intend to buy when things are in their season, read…. “Cheap and Plentiful”, not to mention freshest and in their finest form. It just makes good common sense. I already have my sights set on blueberries and corn, apple rings and then peaches…. Maybe even green beans!
“But”, you ask,” What are you going to do with them then?”
It is a misconception that dried fruits and veggies are only good in soups and muffins, although there are nothing wrong with soups and muffins! BUT, I have found this free on-line resource from Mother Earth News all about drying foods, which I have printed out and added to one of my growing spiral bound “Good Stuff To Know” books, an idea birthed of the many questions that arose when we found ourselves without power for a week during the one, two hurricane/ snow storm punch last year.
There are some very good reasons to have actual printed books and materials around. I have a reader device, which I love, don’t get me wrong, but for some things, like anything with recipes and patterns in it, or how-to’s, you cannot beat paper books, if not simply for the fact that you cannot print out things from e-book readers ( probably due to fears regarding copy-writes and pirating and such), and I feel a bit weird having an expensive electronic device next to my hot, greasy and often messy cooking area!
Here’s my new Nesco Dehydrator….
Unlike the McWrap (Are you serious? They are supposed to at least make it sound like it is good for you! I mean, Who named that thing? It almost isn’t funny!), I really am loving it! Ok, sorry, I had to get that our of my system! 🙂