Showing posts with label dehydrating. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dehydrating. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Figs



We have a gigantic fig tree in our garden, and much as I love a fig, the ones off this tree have never done it for me. They've always been a bit dry and not very sweet. However, this year the weather and everything else figgy must have been perfectly aligned as these figs are pretty much perfect!

We have had a severe drought and higher than normal temperatures so I reckon this is what's done it.
It was actually by complete fluke that Lloyd found out how lovely they are this year. We'd got so used to them being rubbish that we pretty much let the birds have them all. However Lloyd was out walking the dogs yesterday and picked one - he came back clutching it - taste this! (Meh, I thought - not one of the muddy figs) but lo and behold - it was blooming lovely.

So, obviously we'll eat some of them, but the tree must have around a tonne of figs on it, so Lloyd collected a trug full and we dehydrated them.

How you dry a fig - simply cut it in half, turn the dehydrator on to about 55 and leave them... for ever ( or around 24 hours) then you will have the perfect dried fig.


Another tip Lloyd read was that once they're dried put them in the freezer for a couple of days - this kills any bugs or anything on them, then simply store in a jar for ages and ages.
The only problem with all this bounty is that we've run out of storage jars and will have to invest in a whole lot more.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dehydrating

A few years ago I dried some tomatoes in the oven on a low temperature. It took forever and I was a little scared of how much it was costing to have the oven on for a day!
It worked really well though.

Then last week I got an email from grabone - it's a deal of the day site - and they had a food dehydrator for sale. I thought the price seemed pretty good so bit the bullet and bought it.
It came within a couple of days, which was great service. It's MUCH bigger than I thought it would be - which is also great.

Yesterday was the first chance I'd had to put it to work, so I went out to the garden and picked about 4 large (bloody butcher) tomatoes and around 30 odd cherry tomatoes. Then I went to the orchard and picked an apple! Oh yeah, a huge bounty!

In actual fact I didn't want to fill the thing in case I made a right stuff up and wasted everything. But it turned out that it worked amazingly, way better than I ever expected.

I didn't do anything fancy at all.

For the tomatoes I sliced the big ones into thinish slices and the cherry tomatoes were cut in half.
Then I wiped a very thin layer of olive oil onto the 'plate' so that nothing would stick.
I sprinkled a wee bit of salt onto the tomatoes and that was it.

For the apple I just sliced it to about the same thinness as the sliced tomato.

Set the temperature to 55 and left it. ( I put everything in at 2.45pm...)


It has 7 shelves in total

Then we went to the cinema to see The Intouchables - a must see film - it's amazing.
Came home and after the 5 and a half hours the thinly sliced tomatoes were ready.
By 8 hours everything else was as well.


The apple is so lovely - I've just eaten it while typing this. So, its a huge success and something we can do with a lot of the apples.

The tomatoes are also lovely. The taste is out of this world. 
It also makes everything a whole lot easier to store, as it shrinks way down.


I actually put the tomatoes in a jar with olive oil to preserve them. I did this with the ones I did in the oven ages ago and it was really good. We used them on pizzas. I think they'd also make a great gift if you didn't eat them all first.
I'm so delighted with it - I really think it's something we'll get a huge amount of use out of. I'm really pleased we got it.  Now I just need to do more experimenting...