Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dehydrating Onions

Dehydrated onions are one of our most useful garden stores. They are wonderful just as a snack--like hearty candy. Mostly we use them by the hand full in soups, chili and sauces. Tabitha also grinds them up and adds them to taco meat. This is about half of our harvest left in this wagon.

By the way, I would like to fully endorse that sprayer.

They have made the entire spraying process better. Subtle little innovations just make things easier.

I cut the tops and peel them in the sink under running water. I leave the root end because our mandolin likes it better this way. I prepare enough to fill the entire dehydrator.

This part of the process is entirely tearless, the running water really helps.

Our old cutting board split in two and we had get a new one. This one is so great, I don't know how we lived without it. That little routed trough around the edge has saved me many messes.

I set the mandolin (thank you Nicole) to the thickest slice possible. We have experimented with all thicknesses and we prefer this because it is yields the most product for the least amount of work.

Kassi is in the background sewing.

I load the racks thickly and over lapping a little especially loose rings. Slabs are best tightly packed.

Having tried every wives-tale to keep the tears at bay, I use the fan method. By the end of the process the entire house is filled with teary gas.

It is a parts-per-million kinda solution. Kassi is very affected by the teary blight.

We store the completely dry onions in half gallon mason jars. Last year we started with one gallon and could have used much more. Onion slices of this thickness take about thirty six hours with vigilant tray rotation. We have a cheap dehydrator with only a heating element. Someday we dream of a better model.

This one has a fan and element, larger capacity equals faster dehydration times with larger loads.

Gratuitous garden harvest photo.
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