Wednesday, January 4, 2012

RTRP by Proxy

Dehydrating old school

* reaches for phone in apron pocket,"hey what up".
"I'm @ Aldis thought I give you a ring confirm that were on for Friday", barter buddy gf in a relaxed tone. She must be shopping with out children.
"Yeah I'm good with Friday I've been gathering up stuffs to bring".
"Hey there's cranberries on sale ... discounted to 25¢ a bag ... I'm thinking chutney".
"What brand ... look alright ... I'm thinking orange cranberry sauce and dehydrating" My mind wanders to a biscotti recipe that was in Sunday's paper a few weeks back. Called for dehydrated cranberries of which I was all out. Make a few substitution whole wheat for white flour add extra vanilla. My coffee wouldn't be lonely.
"Ocean Spray ... no they look good but there gonna expires in a few days ... how many you want" ?
"How many's there ... wait I can't give you cash right away but I have TP coming in a few days ... wanna barter" ?
"Sounds good I won't pick up any then what brand ... how many ply ... " ?
"It's the good stuff quilted soft real soft 2 ply baby ... ".

LSS this was a great example of right time (after holiday sales) right place by proxy (trusted friend who shops like I think) along with biting off more than I chew with regards to dehydrating.
There's no firing up the solar dehydrator it's been in the low teens to single digit temps.
I'm down to just one base on my old brown Roncho.  Anymore than four trays filled and I risk mold.
Can't borrow bbgf's dehydrator she'll using it.
Really regretting not making or @ least buying a non-electric air dehydrator. I've added this to my wish list -Food Pantrie Hanging Food Dehydrator

I came up with this alternative which requires frequent fiddling with the berries.
Cast Iron Skillet is the easier of the two as all that is required is a clean hand to reach in and mix. Woodsrunner's heirloom cookie sheet is more labor intensive. I use chop sticks to flip each cranberry half.  The second shelf of the stand is working well with a dish towel redirecting the heat, as soon as the leeks are dry I can replace cranberries.
Hopefully it won't be more than a day of this. Stove's running @ full throttle it's so cold.

Planned preserving method - vacuum sealing with O2 absorbers in pint mason jars. Looking for 1 to 2 years of shelf life. I expect there will be allot of Cranberry Walnut Bread in our future so I'm happy with one year.

14 bags later cranberries have been either sliced (10 bags) for dehydrating or will be made in sauce (4 bags) and canned. An appropriate tune playing while I wield a paring knife.

All my life
Is changing every day
In every possible way

In all my dreams
It's never quite as it seems
Never quite as it seems 

 ~~ pelenaka ~~


  1. I love your ingenuity. Your stove looks like the size we need. Our place is small and wouldn't hold a very big one.

  2. Thank you Granny, but you know what they say ...

  3. Couldn't you rig something up with window screens and scrap wood similar to the Pantry Dryer? Then you could hang it over the stove. idea for when we finally get a wood stove. (Well, we already have one, just don't have a chimney yet...)

  4. Kelly,I've had that problem stove & no chimney. Sending out good thoughts that this is the year the stove can be installed.

    I actually thought about rigging something up with a few of my 5' long window screens & a few broom handles but hubby nixed that idea. After a night in the big skillet berries are just about dry.


Thanks, good to know there are other's with this interest