Dry hard. Drive hard. Whatevs.

While we’re talking about home grown food, does any of you know a lot about drying vegetables?  Friends are very pleased with their home-dried tomatoes and we do have a glut every year.  I make various chutneys and relishes and we make soup and sauce for the freezer.  I’ve considered a dehydrator but the room it takes up versus the use it’d get is a bit off-putting.    I’m not sure if the baby belling, or the Aga, would work well enough at their lowest temperatures.  Also, I’ve read warnings about storing dried tomatoes in oil, because of the risk of botulism, but I don’t know enough to be sure if that’s real or purely theoretical.

This subject will be purely theoretical once summer is over, of course.

We’ve got a busy weekend coming up with a lot of driving.  I might manage a post tomorrow, but then I don’t think I’ll have time for a few days.  Have a lovely bank holiday weekend, darlings.  I’ll be bak sun.

6 comments on “Dry hard. Drive hard. Whatevs.

  1. Jenny Grigg

    “I’ll be bak sun” – hahaha! t’internet wins again! My children bought me a hydrator two years ago for my birthday. Produce has to be left to dry for approx. 15 hours. Two weeks later, after I’d used it once, my kitchen got hatcheted, whilst waiting for makeover which still hasn’t happened. Hydrator now living in cupboard waiting for reprieve.

    Reply
  2. Blue Witch

    I have similar feelings about dehydrators. It seems that everyone who has home-grown produce is raving about them currenty, but I’m not sure they will be in 5 years time,

    We sometimes put halved tomatoes in the bottom Aga oven to dry. They do go from done (reduced and leathery) to over-done (black and charcoal-y) very quickly though! Huge variation in time taken too – probably 12-24 hours. Our bottom oven is about 120-125 degrees C – but they do vary a lot.

    What we prefer is cooking them faster in the top oven (halved, in a single layer), with garlic (whole heads if you have lots, leave in their skin and squeeze out after), a tbs or so of olive oil, a tsp of salt, and maybe some extra herbs. When they are well-roasted (up to about ah hour), cool a bit, then tip the lot into a food processor, blitz, then freeze in ice-cube trays. Use as tomato puree. But I expect you do something like that anyway!

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  3. Blue Witch

    I forgot an important bit… for both, I tip off the ‘juice’ as it forms.

    Done carefully, the bottom oven ones yield totally clear juice, just like the ‘tomato essence’ so beloved of Michelin Starred establishments. It keeps in the fridge in a jar for ages and is utterly divine.

    Reply
  4. Kipper

    A friend dries tomatos every year using the oven. Slice cherry tomatos in half, other tomatos in quarters. Place skin side down on baking sheet. Drizzle tomatos with EVOO and desired spices/herbs. 325 degree F oven, check every 15 minutes, squish a bit. Cook for one to two hours until thick and less juicy, but not dried up. Store in bags in freezer. I’ve tried this recipe and it works. Can’t do this year because the home tomato crop is pitiful.

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