Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursdays Kitchen Cupboard: August 16, 2012

Every Thursday, Robin at The Gardener of Eden hosts “Thursdays Kitchen Cupboard” where we can share posts on how we are using our garden harvests.

I love the garden blog community. I have learned so much about various gardening methods, different things to grow, recipes, and preserving methods. Sometimes I get so used to the way that I do things that I don't think outside the box. Then I see an idea on a blog and have an "Aha!" moment.

Several weeks ago, the following comment from Robin in SoCal on my Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard post was one of those "Aha!" moments:

I slice zucchini in thin disks and dehydrate then add to soups, stews, pasta dishes. It absorbs the liquid and seems to retain its firmness a bit more then when frozen. Robin in SoCal

I have a dehydrator. I acquired it from a yard sale in brand new condition complete with instruction manuals about 10 years ago. I have used it once to dry herbs then promptly forgot about it. The dehydrator has resided in a deep dark corner cupboard ever since.

After reading Robin's comment I dug the dehydrator out, cleaned it up, and used it to dehydrate sliced zucchini and yellow summer squash.




Thanks for the comment Robin in SoCal. I know I will be putting my dehydrator to good use this season.

A batch of string beans was canned this weekend marking the beginning of canning for this season.


I was going to go into how to can string beans using a pressure canner, but Ball has a great video explaining the process. They even use the same canner I have:



I raw pack the beans into the jars instead of blanching. It seems to keep them a little firmer. Also snapping the beans into pieces is much quicker than cutting them.

This upcoming weekend will be busy as well with more beans and tomatoes to be processed.

Join others at “Thursdays Kitchen Cupboard” at The Gardener of Eden and share what you've been baking, cooking, canning, drying, or how you have used some of your preserved garden bounty.

9 comments:

  1. I like some things canned, but I could never stand the taste of canned beans (or peas). Which is too bad since they are so easy to can. I do freeze mine, but I'm not in love with them either. It is probably why I don't grow that many green beans. Fresh is what I want. At least it lets me look forward to beans season. With spinach I appreciate it, but frozen is just about as good so I eat it all winter long.

    I've never tried to dehydrate zucchini. It sounds interesting. If I ever get a ton of it (which hasn't been the case in years) I'll have to try it.

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    1. I grew up with home canned bean and like the flavor. It certainly is different than fresh. I also blanch and freeze beans. They keep their color and a firmer texture than canned.

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  2. I too learn so much from the other blogs. I think I am going to try dehydrating zucchini also.

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    1. It is quite a space saver to dehydrate zucchini and summer squash. I am amazed at how much fits into a jar.

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  3. I love the idea of dehydrated zucchini so will have to try it. It would be nice to store it without taking space of the freezer.

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    1. Jars are much easier for me to view on shelves. When full, the chest freezer is challenging to inventory or even to find things. I try using baskets, but things get mixed up eventually.

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  4. I really need to get a pressure canner. My freezer is getting full and as you said, it can be hard to find things in the freezer.

    I like the idea of dehydrating zucchini. But, I don't have a dehydrator either. Maybe next year!

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  5. Oh what good ideas. I wonder if I could air-dry zucchini.

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