Tuesday, October 11, 2011
This Weeks Harvest
I had so many peppers that I decided to try dehydrating them. My freezer is already well stocked with diced peppers from earlier in the season. A friend (bless her heart for being so generous) gave me a dehydrator this fall and I have been having a lot of fun experimenting with it. I sliced up the peppers and let them "cook" for 24 or more hours. So simple as I just sliced up the peppers, loaded the trays and forgot about it. Once dry I crunched the red, yellow and green peppers into a glass jar (a recycled coconut water bottle). I tried using a spice grinder but that didn't work so well. Plus it was taking too long to grind. So I dumped them into the jar and used the handle end of a butter knife to do a little squishing and squashing. A mortal and pestle probably would have worked best but since I don't have one I just improvised with what I have. Besides, I kind of like the varied sizes of the peppers chunks...and I love the colors. I will use these peppers as a seasoning in soups, stews, skillet potatoes, etc. The flavor of the dried peppers is wonderful! I could just munch on them like potato chips. Maybe that's what I need to work on next.....sweet potato chips, beet chips, carrot chips! I'll let ya know if I get around to it. Right now the dehydrator is full of apple..CHIPS! :)
I had a bunch of strawberries that I knew we wouldn't be able to get eaten up before they started to spoil. Usually, when I freeze strawberries, I slice and flash freeze on a cookie sheet. I decided to try something different. My cookie sheets were baking, well, cookies of all things. I also thought the muffin pan would take up a little less space yet accommodate more strawberries. I sliced and loaded up the compartments of a muffin pan, put the pan in the freezer (after a little rearranging) and forgot all about them until the next day. I took the pan out of the freezer and got distracted (this happens often in a house full of littles) for long enough to permit a slight thaw (about 10 minutes), I worked a spoon around the edges and the strawberry clumps popped right out. Now I have a freezer bag of strawberries (perfect for smoothies!) that aren't all stuck together...this does make life a bit easier. And I'm all about adding a little easy to my busy days.