Thursday, August 25, 2011

Coming Up For Air

<*Gasp!*>

This is the sound of me coming up for air.  I began August by preparing for a big party and a houseful of guests, and then there was the night of the party (a birthday involving a multiple of 25!), guests afterward, then preparing to go to the beach for vacation, and finally returning from the beach.  

I came home and jumped right into harvesting my garden's bounty mode.  

My first project was to dehydrate an abundance of cherry tomatoes.

First I washed and spun them dry.  Doesn't that just make your mouth water? 


Then I sliced them in half and placed them on the shelves of the dehydrator.


My dehydrator is a Nesco American Harvest Food Dehydrator.  It has five round shelves.  I've never used any other dehydrators, so I can't tell you how it compares to other brands.  Next year, my goal is to build a solar dehydrator and bypass the expense of running the energy sucking, and noisy fan. 


After all the shelves were full, I placed the dehydrator in another room.  As I said, the fan was a bit noisy.


And then I let them dry...

and dry...

and dry...

and dry...



All told, it took about 12 hours for the tomatoes to reach a leathery-ish stage.  I ended up freezing them on a cookie sheet and then dumping them into a freezer bag.  

I'm not sure if the time spent cutting up the tomatoes and expense of running the warming fan was worth the quart bag of the final product.  I'll let you know this winter when I'm putting dried tomatoes on homemade pizza and sprinkling chopped dried tomatoes on chicken and salads!

The next dehydrator project I'd like to tackle is to shred and dry zucchini for winter loaves of zucchini bread.  I've tried freezing shredded zucchini without good results (I end up with watery, mushy mess).  It'll be interesting to see how drying works!












2 comments:

  1. Have you tried roasting those cherry tomatoes (with a little olive oil and garlic) and making them into a tomato sauce? It's full-flavored and sweet and wonderful on pizza!

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