Old Technique - New Method - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at Allrecipes.com - 233851

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

Old Technique - New Method 
Apr. 29, 2011 6:40 am 
Updated: May 5, 2011 12:25 pm
Lady Sparkle, Carrie and Baking Nana have been keeping themselves very busy. Lady Sparkle has created a tribute book for Cindy Lepp from a very lengthy buzz. I suspect she has made it very close to "Presentation Grade". Carrie and Baking Nana have been collecting memorial gifts and tending the blog hourly (at least) to keep everybody up-to-date. May first is their stop date.

If you have been staying with the effort these kind folks are exerting, then you are well aware how dedicated they are to their friend. Everybody should have friends with this resolve and dedication. Makes me proud to know them. (Even if it is cyberspace.)

For the many who may not know what is going on, this link will take you to a previous post that points to several others that explain what we are doing. http://allrecipes.com/Cook/13101603/BlogEntry.aspx?postid=232138<

My wife brought home a nice food dehydrator. She bought it at Gander Mountain. We had looked at them at Cabella’s as well as on line at Amazon, eBay and others. They were too expensive, too poorly constructed or not enough circulation area. This one is all stainless steel cabinet and chromed steel mesh shelves.

We have a stock of lemons and limes from a sale at a local supermarket. I’ll dry them down and vacuum seal in usable batches then store them in the freezer. They should keep for a couple of years in that condition. Dried lemons and limes make a great stand alone seasoning yet can be added to custom seasoning blends desserts and confections. We’ll be adding dehydrated foods to our pantry as deals become available and as the garden produces. There’s wild foods available (such as Sumac blossoms) that cannot be preserved otherwise.

We are too fond of candy in this house. Candy is not the reason we are changing our eating habits but it is certainly a contributing factor. With the dehydrator, we can make candy substitutes from fruit and veggies that are sweet but not overly sugared. With our former dehydrator (of many years ago) we did this much to the satisfaction of our kids. They always asked for our treats and never begged in the stores for candy. Their friends would tell their folks about the treats. We passed the recipes on but few (if any) were made. "Too much work" and no dehydrators even though they could have used their ovens for most of the recipes.

Storing the dehydrator is a problem, though. We want to keep it handy, yet out of the way. Right now, it sets on my wife’s sewing table, which is adjacent to the kitchen. When we get our kitchen remodeled, the dehydrator will have it’s own space. Until then, it will be part of the sewing stuff.

I have the lemons and limes in the dehydrator, right now. The aroma of the dehydrating has permeated the house and my mouth is watering. Wow! It’s wonderful! That’s one of the benefits of the process I had not thought about. For me, having a wet mouth is (in itself) a blessing I am grateful for.
Apr. 29, 2011 8:26 am
Aloha Mike, Let me know how you like the new dehydrator. I get a bumper crop of citrus here. BTW would love to have you and your here for the LV blowout. May 14......
Apr. 29, 2011 8:35 am
Great idea, Mike! I bet your house certainly smells yummy. Thanks for the ideas. Have a great weekend!
Apr. 29, 2011 9:22 am
I bought a dehydrator last year. I am addicted to gadgets and knew I just had to have one! I have dried fruit, my herbs at the end of the season, made goose/duck jerky and enjoyed playing with my new toy. Now my son is planning a rather long backpacking trip this summer in Colorado. He's going to attempt to dry all sorts of things to make his pack lighter and have less waste. He'll be home from school next Friday and he already is planning what to try first - Spaghettios. Can't wait to see how that works for him... I bet those lemons/limes smell great!!
Apr. 29, 2011 10:40 am
A dehydrator is on my "some day" wish list! I had dried kiwi slices last year and they were just amazing!
Apr. 29, 2011 11:06 am
That's a great idea dehydrating lemons and limes. Do you slice them thinly & then grind them to add to spice mixes? Mrs. Dash has lemon peel in it's salt free mix. I just dehydrated oregano today, love the dehydrator! Don't worry from now on I'll remember beets are bad LOL!
Apr. 29, 2011 3:29 pm
What are you doing to me Mike? A new gadget? So now I am thinking....'If I lose the high chair and shove the recycle can to the side I might have room.' Please tell us more about the dehydrated lemons and limes - how you use them - how thick do you slice them etc... I LOVE the dried veggies I get at Whole Foods and Winco! Oh dear - you may have started something here. If my husband complains I am blaming YOU!
Apr. 29, 2011 4:26 pm
LOVE my dehydrator! I dehydrate mushrooms, celery, etc because we live so far from town. They are always handy for making soups and stews, etc. I found some quilted material on sale and whipped up a cover for mine, as it has to stay out in the kitchen too!
Apr. 29, 2011 6:32 pm
I would love to be in LV, too. But... I can't. Thanky, though, mauigirl!
Apr. 29, 2011 6:34 pm
Lace, can you believe the house smelled too good? The aroma was making me extemely hungry and I was ready to pig out! My self denial was only saved by going on a lengthy walk and staying in the shop.
Apr. 29, 2011 6:38 pm
Hi, Mother Ann! Jerky is rather low on the priority list but it will get done! I still have some of my recipes from the 70's/80's. Spaghetti O's? Maybe it will come out as a fruit leather would- if the pasta doesn'r go hard.
Apr. 29, 2011 6:45 pm
Hi, Christine M! Kiwi is one of the ingredients in my fruit and nut "health slices" (AKA, fruitcake) that I made last fall. I'll be adding much more fruit this year because of the dehydrator.
Apr. 29, 2011 6:54 pm
Helloooo, Cat! I sliced them 1/8" to 3/16". The limes were dry in about 11 hours at 135 degrees. The lemons were done after 15 hours. I am going to use the limes in a seasoning I'm working on that needs some of the acid zip. For that, I'm going to crush the lime into small bits. Some other I will powder in my coffee grinder and add to white pepper for a table condiment on Tex-Mex night. As for the beets, I'll be drying them too as whole veggies. When they are dry, I can throw them at the d@amn black squirrels.
Apr. 29, 2011 7:01 pm
I'm going to make you rabid for a dehydrator, Baking Nana! (You, What's for Dinner Mom, and BigShotsMom.) They make an excellent environment for raising bread. Will you send a video of Mr. Baking Nana's reaction? See my comment to CatHill.
Apr. 29, 2011 7:09 pm
Hi, Petey! I'll be making some soup mixes to put up in vacuum seal bags. Back in the 70's I did that and my kids wound up taking them to school. They'd add water mid-morning and the soup would be ready at lunchtime.
Apr. 29, 2011 8:13 pm
Hi Mr.Mike I am so happy for you and your new toy:) You will invent new ways to use that thing. Cool! I make my own beef jerky and do it in a LOW oven 200 degrees overnight, It is a terrific snack and so yummy, I sent it to camp with my kids! They were the envy of the bus. ':<) Congrats to your continued success. Love, Patty
Apr. 30, 2011 5:24 am
LOL! My dad used to find a slingshot worked great for his squirrel problem. Gee he could have tried dried beets instead of rocks! Will you post your seasoning mixes recipes? I'm always looking for a way to post flavor without calories or fat :)
Apr. 30, 2011 6:54 pm
I'll say sorry if asparagus is on your DEAD BEET list but I tried this recipe today due to an overabundance of the green spears in my garden http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Asparagus-Guacamole-2/Detail.aspx. I really liked it. Better yet my picky eaters ate it!! Didn't even ask what it was :)(:
Apr. 30, 2011 6:56 pm
Umm that should be "boost" flavor in the other post.
Apr. 30, 2011 7:01 pm
Howdy Mike! Wow what a great idea on the citrus. I was recently gifted with 2 dehydrators from a guy I work with who was moving and had used them so little. I've never owned one, much less two. This was something I've wanted to try for a long time and now can. I was really thinking it would be great to dry some of the veggies from my garden this summer, and had high hopes to try some fruits as well. You have inspired me to go that extra mile and think about seasonings too. Great idea! I really hope you post some other things on this topic. I'm book marking this post so that I can refer to it when I start. Keep it coming Mike.
May 1, 2011 12:35 am
Hi, Patty Cakes! Jerky is my all time favorite thing to make. Unfortunately, my wife won't eat it so, I make it only when there is nothing else to do with the dehydrator. Also, with the price of meat competeing with the price of gold, I have a hard time allowing myself to spend the money for a food that is only for me. I have another reason I'll be blogging about, soon.
May 1, 2011 12:41 am
Hi again, Cat! Actually, I love asparagus- as a background plant in the flower garden. I can't believe some folks eat the stuff. I have a couple seasoning blends that I will post. One is very time consuming to make and quite expensive, as well. But, DURN... it is so good!
May 1, 2011 12:47 am
Howdy! Back atcha, Avon! Two dehydrators? You have it made, lady! If you are going to make seasonings, you will want a coffee grinder, too. Make sure you use it only for spices and herbs. $25 will get a fairly good one. (That's if somebody doesn't give you one! ;) )
May 1, 2011 5:44 am
Well, dang! I can't find a good veggie recipe to share with you for nothing :) Third times a charm right?!
May 1, 2011 7:26 am
Believe me, Cat. I'm getting plenty of vegetables! It's the cooked green ones that I have a very rough time with and (of course) the red dirt. I will eat most veggies raw withoput a fuss but that does not include asparagus. I am trying to broaden my scope. When my tasters went bad I had actually started eating many things that I had deplored, previously. Now that they are recovered (mosly) I am continuing eating those veggies.
May 1, 2011 8:27 am
Mike, I need a new dehydrator, mine is a hand-me-down; I don't even want to think about how old it is! If you fined yours is a good one would share the brand info? That's one new gadget that could pay for itself in a matter of weeks once the garden starts producing:)
May 1, 2011 11:00 am
Sure thing, Mangel!It is the Guide Series at Gander Mountain. That's their brand and the only large capacity one they sell. It's thermostatically controlled (90 - 165 degrees)and an electric heating element that looks similar to an oven igniter for a gas range. It's five sturdy chrome shelves (16"x14.25") with plenty of circulation area between them. It vents from the front so there shouldn't be any damage to the walls. The cabinet is all stainless steel for easy clean up and good appearance. Here's the link if you don't have a store near you...http://www.gandermountain.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?i=401208&amp;pdesc=Guide_Series_Stainless_Steel_Food_Dehydrator&amp;str=dehydrator&amp;merchID=4005 ... The online price is the same as the store price. Maybe online ships for free? My description beats the H out of the sellers description. Maybe they should copy it and put in their description.
May 1, 2011 11:03 am
Mangel, I found that the citrus dried evenly throughout the cabinet in spite of it's square shape.
May 1, 2011 1:33 pm
Thanks, Mike! I'll check it out. I was curious about the square shape instead of round, but you read my mind and answered that question, too. Enjoy the yummies!
May 5, 2011 12:25 pm
Wow, thank you Mike. I buzzed about dehydrators today and Nana sent me here. Now you even provide the Gander link! Thank you, thank you! ~~I'm gettin' a new toy~~
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog. http://allrecipes.com/Cook/13101603/BlogEntry.aspx?postid=204609
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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