Friday, February 11, 2011

New Play Toy

I just love kitchen gadgets.  My kitchen is small  and without much storage space, so I am selective about the gadgets I buy.  But I just couldn't resist this one.

Meet my new Nesco Dehydrator.

I have been looking at this one online for quite some time.  But the only store in my area that carried them in stock and not just for online ordering was Fleet Farm.  I don't do credit cards any more, so ordering online is a hassle.  I can't get there by bus.  So Wednesday this week, David picked me up and took me to Fleet Farm.  I had so much fun.

I found my dehydrator, extra trays for it, plastic mesh sheets that fit on the trays to keep tiny pieces of food from dropping into the lower trays, plus another gadget that plugs into my Food Saver for sealing dehydrated foods in glass canning jars.  I was in heaven!

I have a dehydrator that is several years old, and I have used it to dry onions, but not much else, as it had no temperature control on it.  It had a tendency to cook as it dried, and that made for less than perfect dried foods.   The new dehydrator has the temperature control which will make it much easier for me to dry all the foods I want to dehydrate.  I tested it with some frozen vegetables that I had bought on sale a couple of weeks ago.

This is what you get from one pound bags of peas, cauliflower and two bags of broccoli.  The cauliflower turns white again when rehydrated in water.  I cook very few big meat and potato meals for myself, but prefer soups, stews, casseroles and the like.  So now, rather than having freezer space taken up with bags of veggies, or cupboard space crowded with cans of veggies, I have the dried veggies that take up much less space.  I can just toss a handful of whatever combinations I want into a pot of soup simmering on the stove.  Or rehydrate them in water to add to a casserole.  I love it.

I am off tomorrow to do a little grocery shopping, and will get a variety of fruits to dry as well as more frozen veggies.  I love dried fruit, but don't like the prices of the prepared stuff, or the additives in them to give them a longer shelf life.  And the home dried fruit tastes so much better.  David requested some beef sticks that can be made with ground beef and spices, so I will make those next week as well.  I think I like the beef sticks as much as his kids do.

Thank you, David, for taking time from your busy schedule to run me over to Fleet Farm.  It was nice to be able to spend time with you.  I really love it when we have time to just talk.  And I am having so much fun with my new play toy!

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