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applestar
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Re: Gripe and grumble....

OK found a good deal on Amazon for Presto Dehydro. It arrived, got it set up yesterday, and dehydrated can't-get-any-redder mostly sweet peppers (with thick skin unsuitable for eating fresh or cooked in recipes -- saved two (not quite) Chocolate Cake sweet peppers which I found are GREAT for roasting) as well as re-dehydrated to crisp last year's naturally-dried-in-front-of-a-fan hot peppers, then ground them up together in the spice mill.

I thought the sweet peppers would mellow the heat, but this is still a bit spicy. -- I KNOW because I made the mistake of opening the spice mill immediately after grinding one time. (if you have tried this, you KNOW a fine cloud of hot pepper dust wafts up. :eek:

2nd spice jar is only half full so I think I'll add other spices to turn that one into chili powder.

("smoking" is a whole separate project, so I will hold off on that until I get a chance to explore the patio fire pit idea. I have plenty of applewood as well as oak and some plum. I could even put the ground up spice in there for a few minutes in an open bowl or something to inpart the smoky flavor later, I think?)

Image

The new dehydrator has been in mostly continual use since yesterday, and I made some trial dehydrated tomatoes -- definitely making more later. Seeing the tomato slices, DD complained that she was hoping for dehydrated apple chips, so, now, all four trays are in use to make some yummy healthy snacks. :D

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sweetiepie
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Re: Gripe and grumble....

My kids like banana chips too. I can't imagine going back to 4 trays. I have 16 and they are in use non-stop during harvest season. You will love it. So many options. I hope this one lasts for you.

By the way, I started with the apple chips, banana etc putting on the lemon juice but I ran out and just used nothing. The next time I used the lemon juice again and the kids said the no lemon juice was way better. So now I don't have to do that time consuming step. YaY!

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applestar
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Re: Gripe and grumble.... (Food dehydrator, smoker, etc.)

My kids didn't like the lemon juice either. 16 trays, eh? Do you have that many of one produce to dehydrate at a time, or do you mix? If you do, is there a basic rule?

How do you store the dehydrated stuff? -- Ugh we should start a thread -- or maybe there is one already.

I can get add on trays for this one if the main mechanism will last -- of course the other ones won't fit. :x (I had to trim a mesh tray down by about 1/2 inch to fit this one so the actual surface area is smaller than the last one. Oh well. :|

imafan26
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Re: Gripe and grumble....

My vacuum cleaner is so old that I can only get bags from the vacuum cleaner shop. Its' a mighty mite and I don't think Eureka makes it anymore. It is light and has a hose long enough to reach the tops of the curtains and I don't want to carry a heavy vacuum up and down the stairs. It is not good for carpets, but it is better for floors and especially for picking up the kitty litter that the cats spill out when they do their business.

I have a hoover upright downstairs but on tile floors all it does is kick the smaller bits of debris out the back end of it. Even with the tools on board it can't reach high places and it is too heavy to lift.

I tried to buy a new vacuum cleaner, but the only small vacuum cleaners they had that were about the same size had a much shorter hose and short chord. I couldn't make it to the other side of the car without an extention chord and it didn't even make it past the first time I used it.

So, I go back to the vacuum shop and I have had upgrades put on my old mighty might. The motor is fine, but I keep getting things stuck in the hose, so the owner replaced the original hose with a longer flexible hose from a rainbow machine. The glue keeps coming off where it was attached to mighty mite connectors so there is a lot of duct tape on that and it still clogs up once in a while. Now, the part that fits into the front of the machine has a piece broken off, so more duck tape is used to keep the hose in. The only good thing about it is the vacuum shop owner throws nothing away so he told me to bring the machine in and he probably has a machine he can gets the parts from.

It just goes to show they don't make things like they used to.

Another gripe was that I cleaned out one of my pots. It is not my oldest pot, about 5-8 years old and the plastic is so brittle, I don't think I can use it again. A new pot is $16 and it is much thinner plastic than some of my older pots which are actually still functional. I don't think this new stuff is gonna last 10 years. And to top it all off, many of these pots seem to be designed to be made into water tubs or fountains because there is not even one drain hole in them.

pepperhead212
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Re: Gripe and grumble....

Applestar,

When I grind peppers, I always do it outside, and make note of the wind direction! LOL

Glad you got a dehydrator! I couldn't live without mine.

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applestar
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Re: Gripe and grumble....

OUTSIDE -- right. Will remember for next time. :P

I can't believe I waited this long to replace the one that died! :roll:

...Needed to prune the coffee a bit so dehydrated the leaves for coffee leaf tea.

...Dehydrated two batches of dressed kale chips, natch. ;) 1st one was VT maple syrup, softened cultured butter, Vietnamese cinnamon, pumpkin pie spices, and sea salt. 2nd batch was peanut butter, brown rice vinegar, plum wine, garlic, green onions, thyme, himalayan pink SeaSalt, turmeric, EVOO and roasted sesame oil.

I think I -and the dehydrator- Will take a break now. :>

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sweetiepie
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Re: Gripe and grumble.... (Food dehydrator, smoker, etc.)

applestar wrote:My kids didn't like the lemon juice either. 16 trays, eh? Do you have that many of one produce to dehydrate at a time, or do you mix? If you do, is there a basic rule?
Usually I have enough of different peppers or different herbs that all go together. I do fruit separate. But different peppers or herbs I do together. Right now I have too many peppers. If I happen to have an empty tray or two I always throw on the heels of the bread or bread slices so I can make bread crumbs. So it is always full. Jerky is also all the same batch. I have done tomato's too for powder but this year I won't have enough tomato's to worry. I just don't mix stuff I think might take on a smell that would be weird. After the peppers, I will have to start on mincing onions and then on to potato slices. I usually don't get done with the dehydrator with garden stuff until January and then I start making jerky, slim jims etc.

How do you store the dehydrated stuff? -- Ugh we should start a thread -- or maybe there is one already.
I store the herbs and peppers after I have ground them in a jelly jar. If I think I will be storing them longer than a year I do put in an oxygen absorb-er. I bought a bag of them for cheap and once you open them, I then throw them in a jar so they keep until I need them.

I bought a cheap blender just for herbs and peppers so encase there is oily residue that didn't get washed off the blades I don't get that in my cream when I make butter. I have to use a mask and gloves when I do peppers especially habaneros. There is a reason they use that stuff for tear gas. Awful. :eek:
:|

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applestar
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Re: Gripe and grumble....

Belated thank-you @sweetiepie :D

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applestar
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Re: Gripe and grumble.... (Dehydrator)

...well not really griping but -- I decided to dehydrate a tray of diced onions as an experiment...

Oh wow, the whole house smells like onions :roll: :lol: :|

...and here I am thinking might as well fill up the trays since they are drying up into tiny bits on the tray screen. :> Maybe I'll combine them with chunky SeaSalt in one of the salt grinders? 8)

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Gripe and grumble....

Do you really need dehydrators? I had one that I didn't use very much, so got rid of it in the move. My new stove oven (unlike the old one) has a warm setting that is 100 degrees F. Isn't that about the same as a dehydrator?

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!potatoes!
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Re: Gripe and grumble....

the same as one possible temp setting on a dehydrator - does the oven also have a fan like a dehydrator? I'm guessing it can work fine for you but a dehydrator may work faster. my oven doesn't go below 150.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Gripe and grumble....

No, no fan. But being constantly warmed for a long period of time, the air gets pretty dry.

Using the oven is probably less energy efficient than using a dehydrator. A dehydrator seems like just one more thing to have to store and haul out though. Maybe someday if I get the garage and shed really organized and have plenty of storage space......

Especially if some day our apple trees and the planned peach trees are actually fruiting, I will have a stronger incentive.

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digitS'
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Re: Gripe and grumble.... (Dehydrator)

applestar wrote:...well not really griping but -- I decided to dehydrate a tray of diced onions as an experiment...

Oh wow, the whole house smells like onions :roll: :lol: :|

...and here I am thinking might as well fill up the trays since they are drying up into tiny bits on the tray screen. :> Maybe I'll combine them with chunky SeaSalt in one of the salt grinders? 8)
This was exactly what I was thinking to do X years ago when I got DW a dehydrator!

I've already told her that it comes outta the box and upstairs after I've smoked some peppers on the stovetop smoker DS got me for Christmas. Until then, I have a jar of smoked paprika for my marinade :).

My oven only goes to 200ºF and after that, "warm." I guess I could put a thermometer in there to see if it drops below 200º.

Steve



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