Thursday, July 18, 2013

Onion update

Last week, I told you that I had pulled up all the remaining onions from the garden.  It was 2 three gallon buckets worth, in addition to another bucket that was sitting in the kitchen.  What I pulled, filled my garden wagon.
My plan was to put it in my food dehydrators.  I have 2, a Nesco and a Green Country.  Both came with jerky or fruit roll up makers as well.  The first, I got at a half price clearance sale at the farm store.  The other, I bought brand new, still sealed in the box at a thrift store for $7.

Another thrift store trip revealed some extra screens that fit the both, for  quarter each.  They  were on a table of weird things-most likely because they didn't know what they were--but, I did and snatched them up before someone else spotted them.  (Yes, I am a thrift store junky).

I washed, peeled and cut up the onions (recycling the peels into the garden compost pile, which means I will later have some volunteer onions come up from the roots).  That was the most time consuming part of the adventure.

Then, into the dehydrators they went.  I tried to load one screen into one, then the next screen into the other, to keep the driving time even between the two dehydrators, so they would all be done at roughly the same time.  Most I cut into small peices, a few of the larger ones I cut into rings.

I mixed them all up--white onions, red onions, purple and yellow.  The smaller ones I cut the green tops up to dry as well, but used my kitchen scissors on them--it went quicker than the knife.

As I loaded the dehydrators, I rotated the drying racks--very important to do.  They ran off and on for about 3 days.

Normally it would not take that long, but it was humid, and I don't feel comfortable letting them run when I am not home.  During this time I had Rebecca doing her county .22 shoot, and kiddos running around, and a husband on night shift, and I did several days at Kansas Speedway as EMT for tire testing, so they got turned off a few times.  You need to be sure they are good and dry, before you stop running them for good.

I ended up with 3 quarts of dehydrated onions.  Two are diced, and one of onion rings.  They are very good.  They can be added as they are to soups, chili, on salads, to dips, or in casseroles.  To rehydrate for breakfast eggs or pizza, they need to first soak in water.

Later, I plan on doing up some quart jars of dehydrated hash browns with onions, as I have a ton of extra potatoes right now.  I also have some chili peppers that need drying as well.

They did make the house smell like onions for awhile, but it wasn't too bad.  Yes, I know I could have done it outside on the kitchen deck (we have outside outlets), but it was even more humid outside, so that would have been a loosing battle.  Plus both barn cats have had kittens who like to poke their noses into everything, and a lab who would have thought those were there just for, I did them in the upstairs kitchen.

Of course, I had to taste a few, and they are very very good.

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