Wednesday, October 5, 2011

All Dried Up and Ready to Go

What a pretty collection, wouldn't you say? My dehydrator has been running overtime as the garden winds down it's daily offerings and we discover great deals at the produce market. The largest container holds almost 20 lbs (in its original form) of dried potato slices, great for au gratin casseroles. The next largest displays pretty orange slices, all their ultra sweetness concentrated during drying. We have zucchini plain and seasoned, cucumbers and a little bit of okra for future gumbos.

Apples sit atop a container of translucent tomato wheels spotted with pretty little seeds. Good for snacks or to pop into baked dishes. The apples are amazing, almost as if they are sour candies tempered with sugary goodness.

The rainbow of peppery colors jumps out in visual delight. This must be my favorite container, all festive and most likely knowing it is the most beautiful. Thank goodness they don't have personalities, it would probably be very high maintenance. Perhaps a super model!

I tested dehydrating radishes with great success. I am thinking about grinding them into powder to use as seasoning for various dishes. It should add a certain zing that no one expects.

The taller containers were purchased from Wal-Mart and have a screw type lid plus indentations on the sides which make them easier to hold. The smaller containers are technically cool but I am leery. The lids seal with a flip of the clear plastic handle on the top which internally pushes out the bottom, squeezing the rubber gasket into place. They are NOT watertight, and as it turns out, becomes a problem with washing. Liquid gets inside the top and slowly, VERY slowly, dries out. I had to remove the gaskets and leave everything apart for several days pumping the handles occasionally to squeeze water out. Still, I saw a water drop or two.

This is a problem for dehydrated food and anything else that you might store in these such as grains. These are Better Housekeeping containers too. I had faith, but not any longer. As pretty and stackable as they are, I won't be purchasing these again. I can't leave them to dry for a week at a time. The screw top containers will probably be my container of choice.


Candy C. said...

I like the peppers the best, but don't tell the other veggies! Shhh! ;)
I think when they come up with these "new" designs for containers, they are just thinking about the aesthetics and not the practicality.

Michelle said...

I bought some of these containers for my sugars. I was going to buys some for my dehydrated foods. Iam so glad you wrote this post. I had just bought the container so I had no ideal about the cleaning problems. Thanks for saveing me a lot of money.

3rnigerians said...

Oh Kathy, they all look so festive and pretty. I know how busy you've been just by looking at the sheer volume of them. Congratulations on sticking with it. The orange slices, peppers and tomtoes look great! Wish I had smellavision. Great job!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

The containers that I have had the best luck with, and ARE watertight, are the Lock & Lock ones. They are pricey but stand up to anything. I take soup in them to work. It doesn't matter if I shake the container or set it upside down. Seals tight, gasket is removable for cleaning and stacks well. Just pricey. It may be worth it in the long run.

Yes, these Better Homes containers are cool visually, ultra clear to let the product shine through but you're right, just for looks.

If you all want to see Lock & Lock the link is

debbie said...

Just beautiful! Thanks for the idea about the radishes. We received a bunch of gorgeous radishes in our CSA basket this week...problem is, no one in my family likes them! Making a powder for soups and stews sounds like a great idea! They are in my dehydrator now.

Representative said...

That's beautiful! I think I would have trouble eating any of it right away. I'd just sit and admire it all for a while. :)

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I agree, Debbie. My husband likes radishes, about 2 of them. Then what do you do with the rest? I hope this works out well.

Anonymous said...

I love to dry peppers too but your peppers look like such a cornucopia of colors! Love it!

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Thank you- it's the farmer's market. They have a bin where you can select aging peppers for a quarter a piece so I selected different colors. I'm a fan of the red/orange/yellow ones, a bit more sweet.