Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dehyrdating Update.

I didn't forget about sharing our dehydrating successes and failures - and we've been a long way since our first attempt.  Our first night in Memphis, we (you should probably read I here) were so excited that we went to the store and got some fruit and ingredients for a pasta sauce.  We made cut up some pears (in super thin triangle slices) and dipped them in pureed pineapple; pureed some pears and spread it smoothly on the dehydration leather sheet; threw some sliced pineapple on for fun and turned it on.  We checked back on the status about every hour and ate many of the pieces as they slowly dried to their waterless state.

The pears dried really unevenly due to the fact that no matter how how you slice it - a triangle shaped pear slice's thin side will turn to dust while the other side still has enough left to make some pear juice.  The thick layer of pineapple, which we used to help preserve the color because they recommend pineapple juice but fresh pineapple were on sale, clung to the sides of the pears.  The what-was-supposed-to-be pear fruit leather turned a weird brown and slightly resembled a cracked piece of dark sandpaper.  We tried to scrape the pieces off with a fork, a knife, a spatula but ended up soaking it in soapy water overnight.  The pineapple; however, was wonderful!  It was so good in fact that it didn't make it all the way to the total dehydrated state.

Since that first attempt we have successfully dehydrated chili (that has also been successfully re-hydrated), baked beans, fruit leathers (flavored with grapes, bananas, apples and pears) and beef jerky.  The re-hydrated chili was for the most part delicious - the beef retained a jerky like texture and we used a little too much water in the re-hydration process but after hiking 16 miles with 30 pounds on our backs - it will be amazing!

We are at my sister's home now and have made a planned list of food stuffs to cook and dehydrate, including Carrot, Red Lentil and Ginger soup, Chicken Matzo soup, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo (which we made today and enjoyed so much that it was dinner - but we're going to make it again...), Cuban Style Rice and Beans, Mulligatawny Soup, some jerky and more fruit leather.  Stay tuned.

We used wine grapes to make our fruit leather.  It kind of felt like a loogie.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Cinnamon Black Bear.
A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children.
                                                                                                          - Audobon Society