Saturday, October 22, 2016

For the Record

The mini marathon of dehydrating is about finished.  Here are the results.

4 medium sized heads of chopped cabbage = 2 quarts dried
10 lbs diced carrots = 1 quart and 1 cup dried
10 lbs. diced onions = 1 1/2 quarts dried
20 lbs. diced potatoes = 5 quarts dried

I also dehydrated 12 cans of diced tomatoes, but I am not overjoyed at how they turned out.  Instead of getting small pieces of tomato, they kind of dried in a sheet like a fruit roll-up.  The idea was to be able to toss a handful of tomato pieces into soup or stew.  I broke the sheets into pieces and they fit in a 1 quart bag.  I think I will probably run them through my little electric grinder and turn them into tomato powder to use as flavoring.

Finally got my kitchen cleaned up including the nasty science experiments from my fridge.  I really don't know how I wind up with leftovers that I forget about until they growl at me.  I need to be more careful about finishing up those odds and ends.  I hate waste and I get irritated with myself when I have to toss what once was perfectly good food.

So I am off to do more fun stuff like a bit of rearranging in my living room in order to fit in one more shelving unit.  This one will hold my  quilting fabric and supplies with room to spare for the odd cases of home canned food that I can't fit on the other shelves.  After which I plan to spend a few days sewing and reading and napping.  Not necessarily in that order.  :)


  1. Well done on all your dehydrating. Do you blanch the potatoes before you dehydrate them? Just curious.
    I'll have to explore the dehydrated tomatoes. I use the Lipton tomatoe cup of soups as my tomatoe base for Spanish rice. Yum. Might have to make up a bunch of that rice.
    Funny, I'm always trying to rearrange my apartment to eek out just a tad bit more and more efficient use of space.
    Tomorrow is a dedicated nap day and movie day for me. We're supposed to get another storm with high winds and lots of rain.
    But, oh my, today was glorious, a perfect Fall day. One of my community gardens had a work day and coffee and treats to get people out. I had a lovely time playing int he dirt. I also met a few new gardeners. Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC

  2. I love reading your blog. Thank you for posting the yields on the vegetables.

  3. I dehydrate a lot, too. Just took out a bunch of beets, and loaded with cooked sweet potato. That will get powdered. I also put my tomatoes that "dry in sheets" in the grinder, too. Good tomato powder. Today is jam canning day: apricot and pear. I enjoy reading your posts! Your post about the person at the door reminds me of the crazy phone calls I'm getting from supposedly the Dept of Health wanting my medical info. Ha!

  4. SJ...Thanks. When I dehydrate potatoes I put them in water with a little lemon juice as I cut them up. I either make slices on the mandolin or half-inch dices on the Vidalia chopper. A lot of the directions for blanching potatoes for drying say to keep them in boiling water for 7 minutes, but I found that if I did that, they would cook and turn mushy. So once the water comes to a boil I time them for 3 minutes and that seems to work best for me.

    I started dehydrating tomatoes a couple of years ago when Duane brought me 75 lbs. of tomatoes from the Farmer's Market. That was too much for me to can before they went bad, so I sliced up 25 lbs. and dried them. Then I saw a video (I think it might have been "Linda's Pantry") about dehydrating canned tomatoes. Since I need the shelf space, I tried it. The first couple of batches turned out just fine, but this one didn't. The tomatoes are still good, but won't work well in soup or chili, so grinding them into a powder seemed like a good idea. Have done that before with good results.

    It is amazing how much a person can store in a small apartment! I have a desk that has leaves like a dining room table. I set it up with the leaves as a kind of sewing center, but found that the light in my living room just isn't good for sewing and the desk sort of became a catch-all for junk. If I clear off the junk and take out the leaves and move the desk to another wall, I will have space for another large shelf unit. My living room isn't decorator pretty, but then my apartment is too small to host family celebrations, so it doesn't have to be drop dead gorgeous. I am usually the only one here and I would rather have the storage space.

    Sounds like you had a fine day. Any day that we can dig around in the dirt is a good day. :)

    Hope that storm slides on by without doing any damage. Stay safe!

  5. Glenda...I am so glad you like stopping by here. I often use this blog to keep track of yields when canning or dehydrating. I started keeping a notebook for that purpose, but about half the time I would forget to make the entry. I can't even blame that on old age, for I have been scatterbrained that way my whole life. :)

  6. Anon...I like dehydrating. It is such a good way to preserve food and the results take up so much less space than canning. I think it is a good plan to do both. I have seen videos about dehydrating cooked sweet potatoes and then grinding them into a powder, but have not yet tried it. Is it true that when rehydrated they are just as good as fresh cooked?

    Your jam making sounds so good. I am particularly fond of apricots but didn't get any this year. I still have lots of jam from previous years so I only made strawberry and strawberry-rhubarb jam this year. I will have to make sure to get my hands on some apricots next summer.

    I get crazy calls every now and then. Sometimes they want me to turn on my computer so they can "remotely" fix it and sometimes they try to get me to believe that they are some government agency that just can't live another day without my personal information. Sometimes I just hang up on them after telling them my opinion of low-life bottom feeders and sometimes I make them go through their script a couple of times before giving them an earful of opinion. They might be able to get some inexperienced youngster to fall for their line but those of us who have been around the block a time or two know better. Still, once in a while it is just fun to mess with them a little bit. I'm kind of ornery that way. :)

  7. Maybe you just need to keep a hobo stew simmering for those left-overs.

  8. Gorges...I have been known to keep soup going for a day or two when I had a wood stove. Don't think my landlord would be happy if I did that here, for the gas used in my kitchen stove is included in the rent. :)

  9. I put on a hen, onion and garlic in the crockpot. When it was done, I put in potatoes and carrots in the broth. After that, I put cabbage and potatoes and onion in the broth. Then, after that was out, I put three pounds of carrots,cooked them and took the out. Then, zucchini and squash went in the broth. I had the crockpot on for five days. I have a refrigerator full of food to eat for the week, plus for company one day. And, I froze cooked carrots. I paid $0.49 for two-pound bags of carrots.

    When I dehydrate food, I am always so surprised at how little it ends up being afterwards.

    I think your chunks of tomatoes would rehydrate just fine in soups. After all, they will just go back to being like the canned ones they were beforehand.

  10. Vicki..the apricot jam I made wasn't from was from dehydrated. I had 3 lbs of dried I needed to use up, (store bought this time), so I found a recipe that said to soak them in apple juice overnight and then I got on to the rest of the recipe. It looks really good, and tasted great what I sampled from the pan. It also had some chopped almonds in it. I dehydrate and powder a lot of stuff, and the sweet potatoes turn out well. So does pumpkin, but I found that I have to spread it thin on the dehydrator sheets or it's a bear to powder (too thick). I do a lot of tomato powder, and I love Linda's Pantry, too. Especially her "camping meals". I don't camp much, but I'll do the meals anyway for emergency meals. Another thing I dry and powder are cooked garbanzo beans from the can. If they are powdered, and you like hummus, just add a little water, a little olive oil, salt, and garlic and viola! Instant hummus. I dehydrate a lot of canned beans that are nearing expiration date. I call them "Instant Beans". Lately we've had bell pappers and carrots on sale in my area (New Mexico), so I've been dehydrating lots of those. Looking forward to your next post.

  11. Linda...Wow! You sure got a lot of mileage out of your crockpot. I wouldn't mind doing the same except for the fact that my counter space is very limited. So I usually cook a meal and the crockpot goes back in the cupboard.

    I think you are right about my chunks of tomatoes rehydrating back, but I needed some tomato powder anyway, so it all worked out. I have other dehydrated tomatoes that are more separate pieces and those I use for soups, etc. I guess it doesn't matter how they are used - it's all good.

  12. Anon...I wouldn't have thought to rehydrate dried apricots for jam. What a great way to use them up.

    I have just started making vegetable powders from dehydrated vegetables. I will give the sweet potatoes a try. Often if I buy canned yams, one can is too much for just one person and I would think that by drying and powdering them a person could just make up the right amount for a meal. And they would take up very little space in storage. Great idea!

    I like Linda's Pantry camping meals, too. My problem is that I lack the storage space so I have been just dehydrating the ingredients and put them together when I am ready to use them. She has a lot of good information on her channel.

    I have heard of some who dehydrate canned beans or even cooked beans to make "instant," but I have not tried that as yet. You have some awfully good ideas. :) Thanks for sharing them.

  13. Thanks! I love dehydrating and canning. To save a little space on the dehydrated items, I found that saving the big #10 cans (after I've dehydrated the contents) are a great place to store dehydrated foods. I buy from Sams a bunch of stuff in that sized can, pinto beans, mushrooms, tomato sauce...I then scrub out the can and dry it well and put in a gallon zip lock bag. That bag can hold the contents of 3 large mason jars. I found the lids that go with the #10 cans online at Emergency Essentials. And the cans stack! I also just keep single ingredients on hand, too, instead of putting them in "camping meals". I keep a binder of "dehydrated food recipes" for inspiration.

  14. Anon...I really like to can and dehydrate foods as well. There is something very satisfying about looking at row after row of home canned food. A sense of accomplishment, I guess. That and knowing the jars are not full of chemicals with unprounounceable names.

    There are a few things I can where I combine foods as ingredients. Potato and carrot chunks are one of them. Just drain a quart of potatoes and carrots and dump them in with whatever meat I'm roasting and I have a complete meal. Sometimes I will add peas to the carrots and potatoes. I add a jar of beef cubes and another of tomatoes as the base for beef stew. I like to cook up a huge pot of chili and can that.

    Soups are one canned item I like having on hand. I can split pea and ham, ham and bean, vegetable, chicken vegetable, etc. A pint jar is just right for one person and they are really handy when I am busy and don't want to stop to cook a meal, or when I am lazy. :)

    I hadn't thought about the #10 cans for storing dehydrated food, but it makes sense. I don't have a rodent problem here, but for those that do, it would keep the critters out of the food. And it would be a great space saver. Thanks for the idea.

  15. Your soup canning is making me hungry. Something I need to be doing.

  16. Vickie - thanks again for doing this blog. I learn as much from the comments as your posts! Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC

  17. Anon...The soups take up space on the shelves, but they are so worth it. They taste so much better than anything that comes in a can and you know exactly what is in them. Noodles and rice will turn to mush during the canning process so I add those later.

  18. SJ...You are welcome. I am so glad that folks share so much in the comments here. I am always learning from them, and that's really what it is all about, isn't it - learning from each other. :)