10 November 2012

Food preservation: Dehydrating

I know they make electric dehydrators, and if you live somewhere cold and damp you may need to have one if you want to dry food. Of course if you're somewhere cool you can probably also put your food in a root cellar, you lucky dog. Personally I'd need to dynamite for a root cellar but I have hot, dry and sunny to spare, so I like this little widget:

My great grandmother dried food between two windows screens she laid out on their metal roof. This is a slightly higher tech version of that system, and I like it better for several reasons. First off, it's harder for the bugs to get close to the food. Second, it's compact and needs less surface area. Third, it's easy to move it quickly if the wind picks up or the weather changes.

Mine hangs outside when it's hot, and in the winter I hang it in the house. It dries slower when it's inside, but it still dries. What do I dry during the winter? Well, among other things it's good for drying leftover bread to make breadcrumbs and stuffing.

The "sprouting tray" is useless to me, but I put it in the bottom inside the mesh bag so the extra weight keeps it from being blown around in the wind.