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  #81  
Old 06-19-2010, 07:50 PM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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Default Jelly and blackberries

Yotetrapper--that's a good idea to make jelly.
NC Lee-- even better to just pick and freeze 'em a little while and THEN make whatever. I'm feeling a little better, just slept for hours. I think its the air right now. We live a few miles from a paper pulping company and when it gets particularly humid it does tend to get to me--the smell of tanin in the river from the company is an irritant. Anyhow my ears are plugged --which is usually an allergy thing for me- when certain things are full of pollen or there is an irritant in the air. I thought I had a sinus infection--but maybe not. Hubby cleaned the filters for our heatpump/AC and says they were pretty bad--partly cuz the house is new construction--lots of dust still.

It is blasted hot though, we do agree for sure on that. Doesn't bode well for summer does it when its this hot so early? Kinda scary!
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  #82  
Old 06-19-2010, 08:36 PM
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Got a good handful of young garlic flower shoots. Gonna slice them up and dry them on plastic plates on the fridge. Mild taste, good in salads. Gonna try to soak them in olive oil next batch.



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  #83  
Old 06-19-2010, 10:14 PM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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Default That's pretty interesting..

I'm thinking there's other herbal flowers that would be useful to have in a jar-- chive flowers, lavendar, ... just some in my own garden sometimes.
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  #84  
Old 06-20-2010, 12:43 AM
Junie Female Junie is offline
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I dehydrate lots of flowers - violets, roses, chamomile (of course), passion flower, bee balm, clover, basil flowers, chive flowers, nasturtium, and much more. Some are just for color, some for flavor, and some are medicinal.

Hope you're feeling better soon, Mary. I'll be praying for you.
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  #85  
Old 06-20-2010, 03:24 AM
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Bell peppers and a half gallon of french fry cut potatoes as well as drying some cherries. I find that mixing fruit and vegetables, especially the non-aromatic ones do well together.

It seems I'm keeping my dehydrator busy almost daily now. I had to go buy more half gallon and quart jars.
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  #86  
Old 06-20-2010, 04:34 AM
yotetrapper Female yotetrapper is offline
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What do you do with the bee balm, Junie? Mine is just cominig into bloom now.
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  #87  
Old 06-20-2010, 04:46 AM
Junie Female Junie is offline
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The entire above-ground plant can be used for tea. Usually, I mix it with black tea to make a breakfast tea, but sometimes I drink it alone. It's also medicinal, used for stomachache, colds, to strengthen the heart, and to boost the immune system.

I also like to float a flower, either fresh or dehydrated, in a pitcher of iced tea, but that's mostly for looks.

I dry and store the flowers separately from the leaves. That way I can use just the flowers or leaves, if I want.
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  #88  
Old 06-20-2010, 02:32 PM
TEX Female TEX is offline
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Default TEST KITCHEN RESULTS

Dehydrated mash potatoes - one word


YUCK
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  #89  
Old 06-20-2010, 02:56 PM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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Default Tex...

OK Then.
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  #90  
Old 06-20-2010, 05:38 PM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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Default First Box of Tomatoes are All Done..

I dried tomatoes for a few days and just finished up the last 6 pints in a boiling water bath instead. Its all good.

Now I just need to wait til my own plants start kicking in with some more tomatoes.

In the meantime I have peaches to do and I think I'll can some dry beans to get those out of the way while I'm waiting.

Also need to do some more planting and get my pantries all in order for the winter--I'm assuming we'll live here--if not we'll be coming back and forth all winter anyhow so I'll probably still keep most of my stuff here--and the kids will rent the place. I'll know more about this I think in a week--when Hubby has to let his boss know if he's gonna take the severance or go with the company as it moves. Crossing my fingers and praying--I think we're going to be staying. Still not 100% sure though. We'll see..
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  #91  
Old 06-20-2010, 09:55 PM
Lobo Male Lobo is offline
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Default Rhubarb, plaintain (herb) and strawberries

I have been drying rhubarb like crazy. I tried strawberries but they turned black and gooey. I dried plaintain for it's antibiotic properties for medicinal teas. I do not have and Excaliber or such. Mine are cookie sheets and a piece of sheet metal from the side of a furnace.

Any suggestions on what went wrong with the strawberries?

Lobo
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  #92  
Old 06-20-2010, 11:48 PM
TEX Female TEX is offline
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No expert by any means but if they got soggy and black my suspicion is that the berries cooked - not dried - too hot of temp and with the solid sheet - cookie sheet, etc, the air flow was not good enough.

Give us more details about how you are dehydrating and we should be able to come up with an answer.
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  #93  
Old 06-20-2010, 11:57 PM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobo View Post
I have been drying rhubarb like crazy. I tried strawberries but they turned black and gooey. I dried plaintain for it's antibiotic properties for medicinal teas. I do not have and Excaliber or such. Mine are cookie sheets and a piece of sheet metal from the side of a furnace.

Any suggestions on what went wrong with the strawberries?

Lobo
Lobo-- Are your cookie sheets in an electric dehydrator or are you drying them outside?

I would guess they were maybe overripe and started to rot..

If you were drying outside with a lot of humidity maybe that would happen. Then again--it wouldn't happen overnight --how fast did that happen?
Do you have them in heat with a fan?
Were they firm and in good condition when you started?

Yuk hunh?
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  #94  
Old 06-21-2010, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pokeberry Mary View Post
Uff da! North Dakota?

I still have my Fargo Coat... Down filled below the knees with a tunnel hood. It looks pretty funny here in SC where they measure winter tips in degrees above zero.

So you're actually from Minot then?
No. I was born and raised in Western Montana. Move to Seattle in 1979 to work for Boeing. We've been living overseas for the past 21 years and I've had enough. This hot humid weather is not for me. A lot of my time has been spent in SE Asia. You can always put on another coat but you can't take enough off. Today it's sunny 91 deg with a RealFeel, according to Accuweather, of 111 deg. Humidity is about 70%. It's awful.
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  #95  
Old 06-21-2010, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
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!
Are you able to set the temperature on you dehydrator?
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  #96  
Old 06-21-2010, 04:36 AM
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What is you favorite dehydrating book?
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  #97  
Old 06-21-2010, 08:30 AM
NCLee NCLee is offline
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#1 - Preserve It Naturally by Excalibur

#2 - Mary Bells Dehydrator Book

I have several others, but these 2 top my list.

Lee
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  #98  
Old 06-21-2010, 10:04 AM
Pokeberry Mary Pokeberry Mary is offline
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Default Dryer Temperature Setting

Quote:
Originally Posted by MinotBob View Post
Are you able to set the temperature on you dehydrator?
No, the dehydrator I recently bought does not have a temp adjustment that I can do. I did some research and it seems that it is self adjusting--but I'm skeptical. It is a Magic Aire II which is the same appearance as what is now called 'Le Equip' which I think is an upgrade maybe--and comparably priced to Excalibur--it does appear to have a knob to adust temps--mine does not.

In any case, All my old dehydrators--which I sold when we were travelling so much-- did have temp adjust capability. I cannot remember how long it took to do tomatoes.. its been a while.

Also--re: North Dakota and heat..
Well--I have to say--it is true you can't take more layers off, here we are already 90s and I don't know if we'll get a break in the near future--doesn't seem to be one forecasted. Its hot--true that. However, I do have AC and my Walmart pool --and you just learn to do things early and late--and not work so hard in mid-day. Get used to it. I loved ND--but I did think the winters were longer than I liked, spring there was awesome--though flat.
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  #99  
Old 06-21-2010, 09:21 PM
Junie Female Junie is offline
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Mary, the biggest differences in the way the Excalibur works and the way L'Equip works are the fan placement and the stacking trays. The Excalibur's trays slide into the frame, so there are no sides to impede air circulation. The L'Equip's trays stack, so the air has to come up through the trays because the sides are in the way. That would make the food in the way of the air, too. You have full use of the entire tray surface, with no center to avoid. The trays for the Excalibur are 11"x11", all usable. Mine has 9 trays. It also has a temperature setting. I don't have a timer on mine. I didn't feel it was worth the extra money.

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Excalibur~


FWIW, I've done 3 quarts of tomatoes in one day (one load), but they were Roma halves, not slices. I never run mine when I'm asleep or gone.
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  #100  
Old 06-21-2010, 09:22 PM
Lobo Male Lobo is offline
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Default I'd say you are right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TEX View Post
No expert by any means but if they got soggy and black my suspicion is that the berries cooked - not dried - too hot of temp and with the solid sheet - cookie sheet, etc, the air flow was not good enough.

Give us more details about how you are dehydrating and we should be able to come up with an answer.
Since my sheets lay in the sun and it was a humid day....I'd say you were right.

Lobo
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