Saturday, June 12, 2010

Update on Dehydrating

Time constraints have limited our opportunities to experiment with the dehydrator, but everything we have used it for has come out great.  So far, we have dehydrated carrots, celery, bananas and plums ...lots and lots of plums!  I made a double batch of bread a couple of weekends ago (4 loaves) and used it to raise my dough.  It worked great.  This weekend, we dehydrated the potatoes we harvested from the garden last week.

These were white potatoes, a variety that is supposed to be good for baking or for general cooking.  When we dug them up, we found ten to twelve spuds on each plant.  The skins were light colored and thin, very easy to peel.  They varied in size from shooter marble to a large fist.  The biggest ones were not quite big enough to make good baking potatoes, but we may have harvested a little too early.  The smallest ones will be great for frying up with eggs and are actually considered a delicacy in finer restaurants.  We still have about six plants in the tire gardens, so we'll see how much bigger they get with a few more weeks in the ground.  Yeoldfurt washed, peeled and sliced all of them while I was at work yesterday.  When I got home, we arranged them on the trays in the dehydrator. 

We filled four trays with plain sliced spuds and then I decided to spice things up.  I put about half a cup of Cajun seasoning in plastic bag and added the dampened sliced spuds.  I closed the bag and shook and kneaded the potatoes until all were well-coated.  We filled two more trays with the Cajun spiced potatoes.  The drying process was supposed to take approximately 8 hours and we wanted them to be ready about the time I leave for work tomorrow so we will start the dehydrator process about 9:00pm last night.  

When I checked them at 5:00am this morning, they were perfect.  YOF sealed them for me in wide mouth quart canning jars while I was at work today.  I would estimate that we dried approximately two pounds of potatoes and we ended up with one full jar of the plain potatoes and a half jar of the Cajun spiced potatoes.  Dehydrating certainly reduces the storage space required and that's a good thing. 

Anyone ever tried those Betty Crocker boxes of scalloped potatoes and au gratin potatoes?  The few times I've used them, I've doctored them up a little, but they're really not too bad.  I found several recipes online for scalloped potatoes using dehydrated potatoes.  If Betty Crocker can do it, so can I!  After I test a few of the recipes out, I'll let you know if any of them are worth writing down.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

June 12, 2010 at 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HB If you want baking potatoes you need to let your vines die down and leave them in the ground for a couple of weeks after that. How are you all getting along? Hot here but lots of rain and the garden and grass are growing quite nice! FK

June 12, 2010 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

@Steve ...thank you and likewise. Followers are welcome here too.

: )

June 12, 2010 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 12, 2010 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger WomanWhoRunsWithHorses said...

**Edited version of comment posted and removed above**

Fatkat! Where have you been, my friend!?

Yes, I believe you're right. We figured we pulled them up a little too soon. But they are good anyway and we still have about eight more plants in the tire gardens. It's hot here too but at least we're getting our normal rainfall so far this year.

(Edited for clarity ...I left out 'rainfall' in the sentence above and it didn't make any sense!)

June 12, 2010 at 6:45 PM  

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