Preserving and using your harvest and dried stashgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread
Carlos had asked for information about drying fruit and I said I'd post an answer when the new forum opened up. The following is my favorite site, not only for food drying, but for lots of other great information (canning, problems caused by flooding, gardening, cooking, drinking water, on and on). It's the NC Extension Service site. Look further down the list at the site to find Using Dried Foods, a subject we're all intrested in! Anyone have any other good sites?
-- Old Git (email@example.com), July 05, 1999
Thanks for info. Am going to check it out. I have a small food dryer but it takes so long. I have tons of apple trees etc and was trying to figure out the best way to dry large amts of food. Any suggestion? Is there a larger dryer out there you would recommend or I could build?
-- Moore Dinty moore (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 06, 1999.
MDm, yes there are larger dryers but they're expensive. I did see an article ages ago about a home-made dryer which was a contraption of racks slung in fiberglass screening. It was hung in a tree (out of direct sunlight). My dehydrator takes forever too and I have some old screens and fiberglass screening cloth I intend to play with if I get some time.
Have you tried drying in a very cool oven overnight?
-- Old Git (email@example.com), July 06, 1999.
Before I owned a commercial dryer, I dried fruits and veggies on an old card table on my back porch. Lined the card table with plastic (an old table cloth), cut and treated the food, spread it on plastic and covered it with a used piece of lace to keep the bugs out. It worked fine. Of course, I always put my dried foods in the freezer for 2 days after they are dehydrated so that any 'protein freebies' are killed.
I just used a card table because I didn't have anything bigger at the time. You could also use an old door, piece of plywood, the top of your car, etc. The key is to keep bugs or critters out, hence the lace or netting on top.
Hope this helps. Linda, who, if she believed in reincarnation, was a bag lady in a former life.
-- newbiebutnodummy (Linda@home.com), July 06, 1999.
Interesting. y2klibrary.com used foodsafety.org as their source.
My question deals with preparing fruit for drying. Sulfites, ascorbic acid, blanching and salting are all suggested. Which tastes best and or is easiest for dummies? Thanks.
-- Carlos (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 06, 1999.
here's a site that tells how to build a wood-fired fruit dryer that sounds like what you're looking for:
hope this helps
-- andrea (email@example.com), July 07, 1999.
I think the easiest method of preparing fruits for drying is to dip them in a lemon juice/water mixture. Say maybe 1 quart water to 1T lemon juice. Or you can use Fruit Fresh, just follow the instructions on the container. That's for apples, peaches, bananas, and pears. I don't dry bananas anymore because I hate the way they taste. Though I have wondered if they could work for the pureed bananas you would use in banana bread (after you rehydrate them, that is.) Apricots turn out browner and tougher than I like so I don't dehydrate them. Instead, I use them mixed with other fruits in fruit leather or make them into jam.
I have dehydrated onions, bell peppers, green beans, and carrots-all without any special prep, other than cutting them in small pieces. Potatoes I also dip in lemon juice/water solution before drying them.
Hope this helps. Linda
-- newbiebutnodummy (Linda@home.com), July 07, 1999.
Thanks to all who answered. Git, I have tried a cool oven and just didn't like the results. I had thought abt using some old screens also. Will check out some of the links and keep plugging away at it.
-- Moore Dinty moore (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 07, 1999.
solar dryer plans: basic version http://forums.cosmoaccess.net/forum/survival/prep/solarchm.htm
variation by Yourdonite - lol http://www.users.uswest.net/~fabio/index.htm
-- marsh (email@example.com), July 08, 1999.
You can get really nice food grade polypropelene mesh for drying trays from dryit.com. Their phone number is 800-544-8972. In desperation I tried drying my veggies in my cold frame. It really works great. I put a thermometer in there & it registers 130 to 160 degrees depending on the time of day. There isn't any air moving, but the cold frame is pretty big and so far this hasn't been a problem. The tomatoes come out crispy dry and a pretty deep red in 2 or 3 days. They look like I bought em.
-- mostly lurking (mostly lurking @podunk.texas), July 09, 1999.
Re drying large quantities - try your car. Lots of space.. gets hot in there. And if Y2K hits bad, your car won't be good for much of anything else. Lay trays of food on the seats (roll up a towel at the rear of the seat to help level).
-- Linda (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 12, 1999.