Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Wash the apples, grab a knife, cutting board and one of those Pampered Chef choppy things (optional, I like it because it's my mom's and it's fun to play with).
Remove the cores, chop up into pieces small enough to go under the choppy thing. Chop up with that, dump in a pot and add enough water to cover.
Cook uncovered on medium heat until they're softened and most of the water is gone. Spread it on your jelly roll and stick it in the dehydrator until it's brittle.
Above is it wet, below is it dried and broken up to go in the food processor.
Powder it up, stick it in a jar (it's on the right side).
On the left is dried mixed veggies, previously frozen. They were $0.98 for a 1 pound bag at WalMart, so we got a few bags to do. When you rehydrate them for soup or something, they hold their shape and stay more firm than just using frozen or canned veggies in soup. These are really easy to do.
Open the bag. Dump contents on the dehydrator tray. Stick it in the machiene. Wash the bag. Cut it up for use in plarn (plastic yarn). Dry the veggies until they are brittle, stick them in a jar. Fill up a pint jar, and that's about the right amount for a large beef/veggie soup.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Continue to cut up the bag into about one inch pieces. If they're a bit bigger, it's ok, same for being on the small side. Dispose of the handle at the top.
I used a rotary cutter today since I was sitting at the dining table and had room for the mat and wanted a change up from scissors. But my usual weapon is the scissors. I use a pair of those titanium blade ones the late craft center at WalMart had. The better your blades, the easier time you will have.This is with the scissors. Same process.
Right now I'm making a big batch of varigated colors all with white background. This is what I had cut up for colors so far this morning. The box of white next to it is going into balls of white yarn and came from the un-inked sections of bags cut for varigated.
Pull the right tip of bag A up through the right tip of bag B.
Pull them together firmly to make a small knot. Don't pull too hard or else it will begin to tear the bags. However, the smaller the knot you have the less it will show up in your stitches.
Ball it up, bind with a rubber band and cut up some more!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
After it's dried to the point of brittle, break it up a bit by hand and dump it into the blender. Small batches works better than one big one.
That's after it's blenderized. If it's still feeling a bit damp, stick it back in the dehydrator a while. The drier it is the less chance you have of spoilage. Then just dump it in a jar!
Here's some persimmons that I dried and powdered the same way. Sorry for the blurry picture. We rehydrated it with 2 cups water to 1/2 cup powder. Don't just dump all the water in at once, though. Add it bit by bit to make sure that you don't overwater it.
We used this to make a great bread with, and tossed in some pecans and dehydrated figs too. Dehydrating is a great way to use up figs, especially if you have a ton of them. Cut them up with kitchen scissors when it's time to cook with them and use like raisins - they have a much fuller flavor than you'd expect. Even someone who won't eat raw figs or fig preserves (me) loves them cooked in breads and the like.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
My dad grows pumpkins, my mom and I cook pumpkins. If there is a variety of vine that only produces a few pumpkins, I've never heard of it. I doubt we would grow it, but the problem is, you can only cook so many at a time. Enter the giant 10 rack LEM dehydrator I got for Christmas last year. It solves a lot of problems. Like "The deer meat is taking over and there's no room for anything else in the freezer!" The solution to this problem lies with the dehydrator. 2 cups of frozen pumpkin can instead be stored as 1/2 cup of pumpkin powder.
How do I do this glorious thing, you ask? Bake, pressure cook, etc your pumpkin, butternut squash or whatnot as you would for baking a pie or sweet bread. Remove seeds, skin, etc. Season the seeds and toss them in with the drying pumpkin if you so wish. Smash the pumpkin and spread it on the trays. Either use a fruit roll tray, some wax paper or a gallon freezer bag to keep it from going through the holes. Don't put it too thick (ie 1/2 an inch), but get enough to count. 1/4" is a good thickness. Pop it in the dehydrator at 135ish until it's brittle. Living in south Louisiana, my humidity greatly affects the timing of this type of thing.
Once it's nice and crisp, pull it out and toss it in the blender until you have a nice powder. Dump it in a bag or mason jar and seal. To rehydrate add 2 cups boiling water to 1/2 cup of powder. Leave it sit till thickened and cooled. Use like normal pumpkin fresh from the oven. It takes a quarter of the space, and doesn't have to be frozen. That gives it a huge advantage at my house.
I'm going to be drying a few over the weekend if all goes as planned, so I can get a few pictures and post them.
Anyway. The only real craft things I'm doing right now are crocheting with plastic bags (plarn), cold process soap making, learning to knit and tanning hides. I've been crocheting for at least 12 years, don't know exactly how long. Knitting and soap making I picked up over the summer. I started tanning hides about a year and a half/two years ago. It's hard to get that done very often though, because it takes a set period of time to do something with tanning. That doesn't work so well when you're a college student living 2ish hours from home and spend your breaks in another state. Ah well.