Friday, October 5, 2007


a sage leaf from my garden.

Because of my herb gardening, I decided to buy a food dehydrator. I hate the idea of wasting all of those herbs at the end of the season when I cut the plants back. I also like the idea of being able to use my own herbs throughout the winter, not having to rely on prepackaged stuff from the store. Homegrown is always much more flavorful, not to mention guaranteed organic.

Anyway, since the weather's still warm and the sun is still shining, I've been holding off on cutting back the herbs. I've moved the bay laurel tree and the rosemary pots to the side of the house with the most sun and I'm cheering on the jalapeƱo plant, which is still trying to make more peppers. All this leaves me with an empty food dehydrator, however, so I've been experimenting with fruit.

Cinnamon apple slices are nice, dried plums are tangy and chewy, and dried watermelon is like candy. Sweeter than candy, actually. So intensely, insanely sweet I can only stand eating a tiny piece at a time. The flavor is the exact same as watermelon Jolly Rancher candies. Next up, cantaloupe!

...I guess I'm also going to have to break down eventually and make some beef jerky for the husband. As nervous as raw meat sitting out makes me, people assure me it's safe...what's the worst that could happen? (she asked laughingly.)

(past food posts)


BobG said...

Have you tried tomato slices? I find them quite interesting. I don't usually dry rosemary; I have a plant next to my front porch that I snip from when I need some. Dried isn't the same as fresh, for some dishes.

comatus said...

Tomatoes, second vote. Romas and Amish paste give a whole different product than big fat beefeaters. Try going way too far--until only the "rind" and a little dust are left. That can be stored in the cabinet, in a jar or bag, like any other dried spice. Like, intense, man. You gon' love this, gare-own-tee.

Breda said...

thanks guys!

I'm going to try some tomatoes! Do you think I can dry them, then grind them up, and use the powder to add flavor to sauces, etc?

Gray One said...

Dried tomatoes stored in olive oil is ummmm !!! Taste the sunshine !.

Beef or venison jerky- try marinating the sliced meat in red wine vinegar with cayenne or other spices -after a night of this, the meat can be de hydrated and will keep very well, with little or no salt.

BobG said...

Drying them and using the powder is what is done commercially, as a matter of fact. The difference is that instead of drying the tomatoes and then grinding them, the tomatoes are ground to a liquid, then it is sprayed into a warm environment, dehydrating it in mid-air. It falls as a dried powder.

comatus said...

Gray one, I'd been wondering if a no-salt dried meat formula would work. I'm going to try that.

Thanks for the jerky advice.

On how many sites can you say that and not get banned?