Friday, March 18, 2011

Dehydrating the days away

I hesitate to even write this post lest some of you become envious of my exciting life.

my pretty little world
Going hither and yon as I do, one minute I'm dropping a cylinder of salt on someone's head at Trader Joe's, the next I'm waiting for my stepfather to finish his colonoscopy. Oh the thrilling pace of my life!

So if you must, depart from this post immediately. I will understand.

But yesterday was a Red Letter, adrenaline pumping day for me because...

I became a food dehydrator owner!

A large truck deposited 11 food dehydrators to me Wednesday afternoon and according to the delivery person, she's never had someone so excited to see her. Truly I don't need 11 food dehydrators but I gathered almost a dozen other families who were interested in healthy cooking and we all placed a group order. Now the boxes have arrived and everyone is as eager as I am to get started. 

Hello, delivery lady!
Ain't she a beauty?
About an hour after establishing a location for my new toy, two bunches of bananas were sliced, spritzed with lemon juice and ready to christen my Excalibur Model 3926T. Btw, the "T" stands for the 26, yes, 26 hour timer, an outstanding feature, if I do say so myself. :)

Now my first batch of dried bananas sit in the pantry. They look and sound like wooden nickels but taste much better. My orange hair, freckle face OS isn't completely enamoured with them but I'm not giving up. I'm going to make this work in my family. My OS and the Hubs will appreciate my efforts at conservation and nutrition or face my wrath. 

Um, maybe this isn't the right technique???
My new appliance murmurs away the kitchen and today, the trays are loaded with apple slices, strawberries and carrots. The apples were going to spoil soon, it is pleasing to put them to good use and not be wasteful. Don't you admire people that can put things together simply? They use everything and don't squander the smallest morsel. They also don't hoard and that to me, seems to be a challenge. I want to be the kind of woman who is a faithful steward of the things she is given yet I also desire a clutter-free, welcoming home. Striking the right balance requires skill. 
Bananas full of hydration - not for long, you guys!

As silly as getting a new food dehydrator may sound to some, trivial though it might be to a person who pities the stay-at-home mom for the supposed drudgery of her life, I am thrilled with my new purchase. The thought of caring for my family, feeding them healthy things and learning new homemaking techniques brings me contentment.

A not so wonderful reaction to braised daikon radishes

According to Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook, why in no time, I will be making Backpacker Tuna a la King and Fancy Tomato Leather Chips. Yes, my OS's lunch bags will be filled with beet leather and homemade crackers and friends shall crowd around them begging for a mere taste of these delicacies! My West Point OS will plead and beg for boodle loaded with Backpacker Fancy Macaroni and Cheese or pineapple sliced seasoned with cardamom. I can see it now! 

While reading the recipes to Ike, I prophesied a future father/son camping trip complete with Backpacker Rice Balls Wrapped in Nori and kayaking adventures energized thanks to Tom's Red Wine-Marinated Dried Fish. My comments were meant with an impish grin and rolling of the eyes. 

This is the expression I anticipate in the future from my orange hair, freckle face OS!
I'll be sure to capture their noteworthy reactions as my dehydrating repertoire continues! Let the drying begin!


Marytoo said...

Wow, 11 dehydrators!!! I thought you were going in business.

I know you didn't ask, but here's a piece of advice: If you are going to dry onions or garlic, put the dehydrator outside! Unless, of course, you prefer onion-and-garlic scented towels fresh out of your linen closet.

I LOOOOOOOVE my Excalibur dehydrator!!!

Hillcrest Cottage said...

How many bananas do you have to dehydrate to make it worth your purchase... because dried fruit is not cheap... and I love banana chips... and all kinds of trail mixes... and trail mixes are not cheap either.

I think you could make your own trail mix with a cute name and a cute label and cute packaging.... I think I sense a new business venture on the horizon!