My Best Friend Is a Dehydrator

| 11/18/2014 10:39:00 AM

Tags: dehydrators, food storage, Annie Kelley, Illinois,

I told Santa that I would like to have an Excalibur Dehydrator for Christmas. Or my birthday, I could wait until the 12th day of Christmas for it.  It's the Rolls Royce of food dehydrators.  I know people who have one and I am jealous as all get out.

You know that I am a canning fool. Right now I have enough food canned to ward off the Zombie Apocalypse. What I don't have is more shelf space. I am full up. Well...I say that., but you can always find more room around your house if you really look. If I recall, that is exactly how I have almost lost my spare bedroom. I filled up the kitchen cabinets. I filled up the shelves that I bought and the ones that we built that are in the walk-in closet of the office. And then, because we really don't have that much company, I thought "Why can't I use some of that wasted space?"  And then I was off and running.

Before I knew what had happened, there was a new shelving unit in the spare room closet — it's also a walk-in closet. There were heavy cardboard sheets that slid under the bed in there for storing butternut squash. There were 3 wooden boxes along the wall that contained about 50 to 60 pounds each of white potatoes, red potatoes and sweet potatoes. And since we don't have a basement or root cellar, why not bring our water storage system in here as well? Understand that our "system" is not really a system at all, but instead a collection of about 35 to 40 heavy duty white vinegar jugs that are filled with the spring water we drink from a local spring. When we first moved here, all we had was a cistern that we had to fill all the time. The good news is that we became water conservation geniuses. The bad news was that you couldn't drink out of it. They've since brought city water out here on our country road, but we don't drink it either, with all the chlorine and fluoride in the water. It doesn't taste good. Weekly we round up the empty jugs, rotate what's left, and drive out to fill the jugs. But...I digress...

Back in the early 70s, when my son was little, I started dehydrating fruits from around our place to fruit leathers and snacks. And I dried the herbs from my garden. That was about the extent of my experience then. It was enough. Back in those days, I dried stuff out in the sun on scrubbed clean old window screens. Primitive, huh? Sometime in the 80s I bought my first dehydrator, a little brown plastic thing with trays in it and a heating element in the bottom. I think it cost about $10.  It took forever to dry things, but was still a little faster than doping it out in the sun.

11/20/2014 6:17:03 AM

I agree - I bought those round dehydrators (3 of them ) and they would last 6 months and break. So, I decided to finally get the small Excalibur with 5 trays and have not been sorry one day as yet. It is well worth it. I got mine for less on eBay.

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