|My cucumber plant today. I have gotten 19 pints of pickles from this one plant. That's not counting the ones we've eaten.|
The bean plants are starting to turn brown. There's still a lot of beans though. In two days I got enough to feed my family when they come for dinner. That's a total of nine people. (Four of them are the kiddos.)
Then there is the basil and parsley. I have four trays of them in the dehydrator.
|Three trays have basil, one has parsley. My parsley is just now getting to the point of being able to use it. It's a slow growing plant.|
Dehydrating is so easy. My dehydrator is a simple one I bought fifteen years ago from the Ronco ads on TV. There is no thermostat on it so I can only do simple fruits and veggies with it. No eggs or other items that need higher temperatures in order to preserve them.
Any fresh herb can be easily dried. They can come from the store, a garden, or the farmer's market. The most important thing to do is wash the herbs a number of times until you see clear water. Pat them dry with a kitchen towel and place in the dehydrator. During the drying process it's a good idea to rotate the trays a couple of times. Rotate them up and down and in a circle. In five hours you will have a spice you can use all winter long. It's such a simple thing, but you get a sense of accomplishment with it. Time invested is less than ten minutes. More if the harvest is huge.
The green beans are frozen. Again, wash them until the water is clean. You may have to do this up to four times Place them in boiling water for three minutes to blanch them. Then right in to a bowl of ice water. This stops the cooking process. When they are cool pat them as dry as you can on a kitchen towel. Place them on a cookie sheet, trying not to touch them to each other. Place them in the freezer for thirty minutes, then take them out and bag them to put back in the freezer. Simple and the task is completed in just a few minutes. The beans can also come from the garden, store (on sale), or farmer's market.
The beans are in the ice water bath after they were blanched.
The beans frozen and put in an air tight bag. They are now ready for their home in the freezer.
If you try doing a couple of small tasks, you'll see how good it feels to begin a journey to the simple life.