Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Catching Up and Drying Out...

I'm here. I'm healthy. I'm busy! 

I've been quilting but I have no finishes to show you although five of the seven, yes FIVE, of the twin-size quilt tops are finished! 
A peek at numbers 4 and 5
This week I've been working on baby quilts. I need them in February/March so I thought I'd better get moving!
Blocks from 2 of the 3 quilts.
We are also planning a trip in late spring and early summer. Looks like we'll finally get to Banff, Alberta, Glacier National Park, and the Oregon coast. We both spend hours looking at places to rent (me) and places to see and photograph (Ray).

But mostly I've been experimenting. 
Marlene over at StitchinByTheLake was talking about dehydrators. I'm not sure why but something clicked - I need to learn to dehydrate things! I own a very old Ronco dehydrator - it has a bottom fan. I used to use it to make the best beef jerky (yes, the best - ask my kids!). It wasn't exactly calorie-free so I pretty much quit making it when the boys left home. I also dried apple slices. I recently learned (from Marlene and others) that dehydrated food keeps for years and does not require freezer space. 
Our 1990's Ronco dehydrator
Rational in no particular order:
  • My freezer is full - I need other storage OR another freezer.
  • I'm tired of wasting food - example: I never use the whole bag of potatoes and I'm tired of throwing out the rotten ones. I could just dehydrate the extra ones.
  • I'd love to save money - We eat LOTS of fruit and vegetables. If I could buy in season and dehydrate, I could buy at the best prices and have food for months. Or I could have a garden and dehydrate the surplus.
  • I would always have certain things on hand if I dehydrated vegetables. Don't you hate getting ready to fix something and not having an onion?
  • When we travel, I could carry produce with us without the need for cooler space. (We often stay places where we can cook.)
  • There's more I'm sure but that's all I can think of for now!
I continue to research dehydrating foods. I am now dehydrating various vegetables to see how this all works. I have done the following.
  • purchased frozen hashbrowns (straight from the freezer)
  • sliced potatoes (cooked first but not cooled)
  • carrots (raw)
  • carrots (blanched first but not cooled)
  • celery (raw)
  • cauliflower (blanched but not cooled)
  • onions (raw)
  • onions (cooked but not cooled)
My current stash of dehydrated vegetables.
This does take time. Of course, I can do other things like quilt while the drying is taking place. I've pretty much dehydrated each vegetable separately. There are many more to try but I just need to get a handle on all of this so I've only used vegetables I have on hand.

Next on the agenda is to rehydrate and use these vegetables. I plan to do that tomorrow and make potato soup.

Then it's on to fruit. I think blueberries are first on the list.

Let me know if you dehydrate. I'd love to hear about your resources. If this all works, and I have great faith that it will, I'll be looking at a new dehydrator with a side fan and a temperature setting. 


  1. I love the little glimpses into the quilts you're working on. I can't wait to see them finished ... I hope you'll share pictures.

    I am intrigued by your dehydrator ... I know my grands love dried fruit ... maybe we need to get a dehydrator.

  2. Hubby has 2 dehydrators. He is the one who uses them. I do know that you have to slice things very thin in order to get them to dehydrate properly. He uses the stuff he dehydrates for his back packing trips. Only fruits so far, I think.

  3. I'm so glad you're giving it a try! I love using the dehydrated hash browns as my thickener for potato soup. We love onion and since dehydrating I always have it available for soup or casseroles. And no tears. :) I've not tried blanching vegetables first simply because I'm being lazy. And we haven't had any problems with the non-blanched ones so it works for us. I don't know if I said I dehydrated sweet potatoes but we sliced them thinly with a mandolin cutter. My sister bakes hers first but not till done or they crumble. I don't care for cauliflower so I haven't tried it but I do plan to buy shredded cabbage to try. Yes I could shred my own cheaper but I want to experiment. If you like herb teas you might also peel apples, dehydrate the peels and apples separately. The peels can be either put into an infuser to make tea or powdered in a blender to make it. It doesn't disappear when it's powdered - gets a bit grainy - so I prefer using the little tea infuser. Is that the correct term? And don't get forget fruit leathers if your dehydrater has a "solid" sheet so it doesn't drip through. blessings, marlene



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...