Sunday, September 13, 2009
More "Putting Food By"...
As the garden languishes in the last throes of warm weather, I have been drying more of my produce since it takes up much less space (and energy) to store.
I had lots of pole beans, and the ones that didn't get picked while still tender were allowed to stay on the vines. However, with the wet and cooler weather, I was afraid they would mold rather than dry so I picked a bunch. Put them on low in the dehydrator for a couple of hours until they were dry enough to shell easily. What you see in the photo is only a portion, now drying since I shelled them.
These beans are Kentucky Wonder, and probably not the best bean to dry as a staple. However, they can be ground into a flour to add nutrition to a number of dishes like stews and meat loaf. They make a great thickener!
Besides that, any whole dry beans that aren't eaten over winter will still be viable for planting next spring.
Then I dried some corn. Blanched it about 2 minutes, cut it off the cob and spread on the dryer shelves. I wanted to make some old-timey parched corn, which is kinda like corn nuts only not as greasy or salty. Turns out you need to dry the corn ON the cob so you have whole kernels to parch. It makes a great snack, and my neighbor has a few ears drying now on his stalks for me.