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  #61  
Old 06-18-2010, 01:28 PM
nanniegoat Female nanniegoat is offline
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I can't for the life of me figure out how in the world to start a new thread so I'm going to ask a question here and maybe someone will be able to answer.

I had several dill plants given to me this week but the head still has the yellow flowers. Can I use the dill head with the flowers in canning my pickle or do I need to clip the flowers off before canning?

Sorry for this post here.
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  #62  
Old 06-18-2010, 01:45 PM
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momma_to_seven_chi Female momma_to_seven_chi is offline
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I can't for the life of me figure out how in the world to start a new thread so I'm going to ask a question here and maybe someone will be able to answer.

I had several dill plants given to me this week but the head still has the yellow flowers. Can I use the dill head with the flowers in canning my pickle or do I need to clip the flowers off before canning?

Sorry for this post here.
I use them when they are small. I have never tried when they are all big and flowered out. When they just get the buds and start to bloom out yellow they taste wonderful.
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  #63  
Old 06-18-2010, 01:47 PM
TEX Female TEX is offline
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you can certainly use the flower - don't bother to cut it off. I have actually seen recipies for pickles that say to put a dill flower in each jar.
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  #64  
Old 06-18-2010, 02:08 PM
nanniegoat Female nanniegoat is offline
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Wonderful, I'll use those babies and keep accepting more.LOL
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  #65  
Old 06-18-2010, 03:52 PM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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Default How many tomatoes can you dry in a day?

I did a load yesterday and ended up with about 1.3 qts of dried tomatoes.
I figure that's enough for maybe 2+ quarts of sauce if I grind and rehydrate.

Took quite a while.

I'm drying another load now and will hopefully do another load before I go to bed.. but I'm thinking if they don't all fit into a last load in the morning--they're getting canned. (literally)

I guess I see this as a drawback comparing canning and dehydrating.

I think its best to have more than one method anyhow--but I never really tried to keep track of this before and I wonder what other's experience is.
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  #66  
Old 06-18-2010, 04:01 PM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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I did a load yesterday and ended up with about 1.3 qts of dried tomatoes.
I figure that's enough for maybe 2+ quarts of sauce if I grind and rehydrate.

Took quite a while.

I'm drying another load now and will hopefully do another load before I go to bed.. but I'm thinking if they don't all fit into a last load in the morning--they're getting canned. (literally)

I guess I see this as a drawback comparing canning and dehydrating.

I think its best to have more than one method anyhow--but I never really tried to keep track of this before and I wonder what other's experience is.
What I'm trying to say is--I think I could have canned my whole box in one session.. more work, but much less time.
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  #67  
Old 06-18-2010, 04:11 PM
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I can't for the life of me figure out how in the world to start a new thread so I'm going to ask a question here and maybe someone will be able to answer.
When you see the list of threads, just above them on the left side it says "New Thread". Click on that button to start your thread.

Paul
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  #68  
Old 06-18-2010, 04:37 PM
nanniegoat Female nanniegoat is offline
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I found it Paul, thanks so much.
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  #69  
Old 06-18-2010, 05:50 PM
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Welcome to the boards, nanniegoat!!!!!!!!!
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  #70  
Old 06-18-2010, 06:32 PM
nanniegoat Female nanniegoat is offline
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Thanks, I'm excited to be here.
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  #71  
Old 06-18-2010, 10:18 PM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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Default Excalibur Tomato yield Anyone??

Still wondering--does an excalibur dry tomatoes any faster than other driers? I managed a quart and a 1/3 about in a day-- with the thing running all half the day and all night, and then another hour or two in the morning to get one tray of 'not dones'.

I just got this dryer--and was hoping for a little faster drying. Before I decide to make canning my #1 method for tomatoes this summer, I'd just like to know if excalibur owners get better results that that. Thanks to anyone who can answer!
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  #72  
Old 06-19-2010, 05:53 AM
yotetrapper Female yotetrapper is offline
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Dehydrated some wild black raspberries today! Yum!
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  #73  
Old 06-19-2010, 10:08 AM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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Default Wild Black Raspberry/ Black berry..

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Dehydrated some wild black raspberries today! Yum!
did you seed those first? How're ya going to use them?

We've got tons of them, a couple different types.. Thought of drying them myself but not sure how I'll use them.
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  #74  
Old 06-19-2010, 10:26 AM
TEX Female TEX is offline
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Default TATER DEHYDRATING TEST KITCHEN LOGING IN HERE

I have obviously become the "tater dehydrating test kitchen" (just love kitchen science). So this morning I cooked a few russet potatoes - from research I have found that red potatoes don't preserve well - too much sugar (thinking maybe slices for augratin) and potatoes should be about a month old before you try to preserve them.

Anyway, cooked and mashed some taters and have them in the dehydrator with about 10 Roma maders and some onions. (So my taters might have an onion flavor - sounds good to me). About dinner time I suspect that the mashed potatoes will be dry and then will try to make mashed potatoes out of them. Now there might be a few lumps in them - my kids taste potatoes without lumps and suspect that they are "the dreaded instant" so lumps in potatoes are a way of life for us.

STAND BY FOR FURTHER UPDATES FROM FROM YOUR FRIENDLY TEXAS KITCHEN.
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  #75  
Old 06-19-2010, 10:30 AM
TEX Female TEX is offline
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did you seed those first? How're ya going to use them?

We've got tons of them, a couple different types.. Thought of drying them myself but not sure how I'll use them.
Mary, couldn't you dehydrate with the seeds and then when you re-hydrated just strain out the seeds for things such as pies?
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  #76  
Old 06-19-2010, 12:40 PM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Originally Posted by Pokeberry Mary View Post
Still wondering--does an excalibur dry tomatoes any faster than other driers? I managed a quart and a 1/3 about in a day-- with the thing running all half the day and all night, and then another hour or two in the morning to get one tray of 'not dones'.

I just got this dryer--and was hoping for a little faster drying. Before I decide to make canning my #1 method for tomatoes this summer, I'd just like to know if excalibur owners get better results that that. Thanks to anyone who can answer!
Mary, how fast the tomatoes dry depends on the thickness, type tomato, temp setting of the dehydrator, air flow design, and the humidity. Excalibur has a great air flow design and the temperature should be set for the type product rather than speed of drying. Some of the single temp dehydrators will probably dry tomatoes faster. However, based on my experience with one, drying tomatoes at jerky making temperature leaves a lot to be desired. For me, the results were not satisfactory.

One way to help speed up the process is to turn down the air conditioner or use a dehumidifier near the dehydrator. The drier the air in your home, the faster the drying process will be. According to the weather folks, humidity around here is going to be rough for the next few days. Over 70%. When it gets that high around here, there's no point in trying to dehydrate anything on the backporch. There's just too much moisture in the air, so dehydrating slows to a crawl.

If you have a lot of tomatoes, you'll need to incorporate both canning and dehydrating. With a lot of tomatoes, running several dehydrators, at max output, probably won't keep up with getting the tomatoes processed at their prime.

Think of a dehydrator as a crockpot / slow cooker. The results are great, but too slow if you're cooking for a big crowd of folks arriving at your house for gallons of Brunswick stew. In that case you'll fire up the big washpot in the backyard for the maximum production of stew.

After that rambling, , my suggestion is to keep the dehyrator running during tomato season. When the volume off your vines warrant, add canning so you can keep up with the harvest. Both dehydrated tomatoes and canned tomatoes are good, so you won't go wrong. And you can take advantage of the best of each method of preserving them.

While this doesn't actually answer your question, hope it is some help.

Lee

Edit: How are you prepping your tomatoes? Slices or puree for tomato leather (used for tomato paste & tomato sauce).
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  #77  
Old 06-19-2010, 01:07 PM
yotetrapper Female yotetrapper is offline
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Originally Posted by Pokeberry Mary View Post
did you seed those first? How're ya going to use them?

We've got tons of them, a couple different types.. Thought of drying them myself but not sure how I'll use them.
I dont de-seed them. I dont really mind the seeds. I'm talking black raspberries, and not blackberries. The blackberries have lots more seeds than the wild raspberries do. I've been using them like crazy fresh. First I made a batch of jelly (strained so no seeds) then a thing of homemade ice cream. Yesterday I made more jelly, and black raspberry shortcake.

The ones I am dehydrating I imagine I will use in muffins, pancakes, and maybe shortcake. Give me a lowly, seedy wild raspberry any day over a domestic one. The flavor can't compare!
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  #78  
Old 06-19-2010, 01:21 PM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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Default Hi y'all..

NC LEE--ugh with the humidity-- That probably could be a factor although we are definitely using the AC. Your idea makes sense--keep the dehydrator going but add canning when needed.

TEX--please do keep us posted on the Tater Test Kitchen-- I'm loving it!

YoteTrapper--thank you for the berry tips. I'm not exactly sure what our berries are here-- we've only lived in the south a few years and this is the first year we've been in our own place and had all these berries. I think we have a variety of different wild berries, some look a little like each other but size and taste is different. Some are downright delicious. Hubby wants to try making wine with them. Eventually, but I have so much else to deal with right now--I guess that's not going to fit my plans--too bad cuz there are an awful lot of them... maybe I should rethink.

Well, I woke up with some sort of sinus/ear infection and feel like a dead woman walking.. Still have half a box of tomatoes to deal with. I think I will let them just wait til tomorrow. These are from a local farm market and I think they must have gotten them in Georgia cuz I don't think that many would be ripe here yet. I don't know the variety but I am going to save seed from some of them. They may not turn out as good--but one type that is in this box load is just super sweet and has great thick walls for canning. Not a roma, just a medium to large size bright red round tomato and delicious. some are a little bit sour--those I'm not saving--but I think they will be find mixed together.

This is my favorite time of year in the Carolinas--but I must say the heat is overwhelming. We're 90s now for at least a week and another week coming I think. Higher 90s tomorrow and Monday--and its only June! Its also nasty humid. Swimming Pool is up to 95 degrees! Daughter and her Hubby have been stopping by for a dip in the evenings lately. Best investment we ever made that ugly blue Walmart pool.
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  #79  
Old 06-19-2010, 03:32 PM
yotetrapper Female yotetrapper is offline
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If you make nothing else with the wild berries, I highly reccommend jelly. Jelly removes all the seeds, and you'll never find so flavorful of a jelly on the grocery shelves.

For 6-7 half pint jars, you'll need about 12 cups of berries, which can be picked in a half hour in a good patch. Once you have them, wash them, crush them, add a half cup of water and bring them to a boil. Now dump them juice and all into a large bowl lined with cheesecloth, and wrap the cheesecloth up around them to make a bag. Tie it, and hang it from a sturdy cup hook in your kitchen to drain over the bowl. If flies or fruit fllies are an issue, cover the bowl with an additional piece of cheesecloth and let the juice drip through that too.

I usually allow it to drip overnight, but a couple hours should work ok too. You need to end up with 4.5 cups of juice, but can add up to 1/2 cup of water if you're short. Now buy you a pink box of sure jell less sugar pectin and mix the pectin with 1/2 cup of sugar and add that mixture to your juice. Heat to a boil that can't be stirred down, then add 2 1/2 cups more sugar and heat to boiling. Boil one minute, jar, and process in water bath 10 minutes.

Not counting the time to drain the juice, the whole process including picking takes less than 2 hours, and it's OH so worth it!

Wild black raspberry jelly is hands down both mine and my husband's favorite jelly, with, for me, peach jam coming in second. You can use the yellow box of sure jel, but for me, that's just too sweet.

As for me, I have NO USE for the Ball low-sugar pectin. I dont want to add apple juice to every jelly I make.....bleh!
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  #80  
Old 06-19-2010, 04:29 PM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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Mary, sorry to hear that you're not feeling well. (sigh) This is definitely the wrong time of year to get sick. Both from the things you want to do and for some reason being so blasted hot makes it even worse, IMHO.

If you can get someone to pick those berries, just freeze them for now. Later you can decide if you want to make juice, jelly, pies, or whatever with them. Just wash, dry, and lay out on cookie sheets to freeze. Bag them up after freezing.

I suspect you have blackberries. I've been munching them from the mower, every time I mow along side some that are growing at the edge of the woods.

Mulberries are past their prime now, but a few are still on the trees. They are super sweet, so you may also have some of them. They look similar to blackberries but grow on small trees rather than canes with thorns on them. Recently stopped the mower, stood on it to reach them, and ate my fill of mulberries. Yummmm........ so good right off the tree.

Lee
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