Preserving food…

One of the absolute oldest means man has used for preserving food to be used later is simply removing the water/liquid from it by drying it.

In a previous post I mentioned an interest in building a solar food dehydrator and that is slowly climbing up the old ToDo list this summer.  Speaking of “summer”, after the mildest temperatures I can remember here in the first two weeks of July, summer has now arrived with a vengeance. Today is our 3rd in a row to reach triple digits here at the Pondee, but it has fallen back off this evening and is supposed to return to something more normal from today through the next week.  While we *like* hot weather, this evening is very pleasant.

I have used the time indoors to “play” with our electric dehydrator. Aside from making beef jerky, (which is always a hit and disappears *very* rapidly), I’m playing with simply dehydrating frozen vegetables which are already pre-blanched as part of the factory process.  Doing so lets me skip several steps that would be necessary for fresh vegetables, so its simply a matter of thawing them well enough to be spread on the trays, plugging in the dehydrator, and waiting.  Heidi picked up a cheap timer from Walmart so I can just set it up at night and go to bed if I want to.  Again, quick, easy, and the cleanup effort afterward is relatively easier than one would think.

I will be using the dehydrated vegetables outdoors, (or camping), as the summer goes on – either to prepare side-dishes or as part of the main course.  (Hint – rice, mixed vegetables, maybe a little scrambled egg & soy sauce in that cast iron Wok makes a very good imitation of oriental rice to enjoy with a dinner of some kind of BBQ beef or pork).

Right this moment we are trying our hand at making “hamburger jerky” using a couple pounds of VERY lean ground sirloin. This batch, (which will produce about 70 pieces), has been on for a couple of hours and if it tastes anywhere near as good as the smell ….. Let’s just say it won’t last long around my Son-in-law and their two teenage daughters. 😉

It might have been a bit hot for most folks, but life is still great around the old Pondee. 8)

A tray of frozen mixed veggies ready for dehydration

A tray of frozen mixed veggies ready for dehydration

Mixed veggies ready for vacuum sealing

Mixed veggies ready for vacuum sealing

Frozen peas ready for dehydration

Frozen peas ready for dehydration

Dehydrated peas

Dehydrated peas

Note: I had a tray of frozen mixed fruit above the peas that succeeded in dripping juice down – I simply tossed those discolored by the fruit juice.  Won’t be pulling THAT stunt again. 😉

This entry was posted by dave on Saturday, July 17th, 2010 at 6:27 pm and is filed under Off-Topic, Random thoughts . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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