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Mmm, burned food!

July 17, 2008

It was with great excitement that our old dehydrator was re-discovered whilst combing through our storage unit! Visions of beef jerky and banana chips danced in my head and yesterday I tried it out for the first time, using apple ring slices and chopped up celery.

I had hopes that the celery would turn into some kind of vegetable chip (gotta be honest here: while I don’t dislike celery, its not exactly top of my list when it comes to taste. So if I can find some way to make it more appealing, I’m going for it), but as per my nature I conveniently wandered away from the dehydrator and didn’t wander back until some six hours or so had passed. By that point the celery resembled crinkled up burnt (green) paper, the kind that you might find when your campfire goes out. Not particularly the most appetizing, and after a brief taste-test I learned that it really wasn’t the most tasty, either. And then my dad kindly explained to me that the purpose of drying celery is more for soups than to eat as a snack. I think that the dehydrator manual should include an explanation of the purpose of drying the various fruits and veggies for people like me:)

However, the apple slices turned out beautifully! I only used the one apple but I’d use more next time. They really did look just like store-bought dried apples. And they taste marvelous. So all in all the dehydrator experiment was a success, and now that I’ve discovered how quick and easy it is I’m sure I’ll be testing just about every food I can get my hands on to see what tastes best.

My other experiment yesterday was to make roti- I sincerely love curry and especially roti, so I wanted to try making my own thin roti bread to wrap the curry in. Unfortunately the recipe I chose seemed to be under the impression that roti is more of a naan bread than a thin wrap, so now I have three pita bread-esque rounds of “roti” and three very thin, brittle crisp bread-esque “roti”. I tried rolling out the last three very thinly to make it more roti-like, but instead it just became brittle like a burned pappadam (I had the same problem of becoming bored during the baking process and wandered away, not watching to see if I’d overcooked it. Oops).

I think that the last three attempts at roti will be going straight into the bin but I might try one of the softer breads tonight with dinner. Perhaps I will even have some curry along with it, as was the plan.

To top off my interesting day of experimentation, and because I hadn’t made too big of a disastrous mess in the kitchen (gasp!), it was necessary for some kind of mishap to occur in the way of a clumsy act. Right on cue as I was just getting ready for bed, I somehow managed to drop the glass jar that I use for my homemade sugar scrub onto a tile floor. Luckily the jar was almost completely empty, but even so it smashed everywhere. Miraculously, none of the tiles broke! But it was a pain to clean up. It did, however, make my mum quite pleased because the jar that I was using had been a mayonnaise jar- “hurray now we get to buy more junk food so you can have another jar!”.

But I’m sure that an empty peanut butter jar will do just fine:)

Anyone else use a dehydrator and care to share some tips with the rest of us amateurs? Also does anyone happen to have a real roti recipe? Please spill!

By the way, I also tried quinoa for the first time! (I might have tried it once before, but if so it was a teensy tiny taste and I don’t really remember it). It was delicious. We used it instead of rice for our Lamb-Stuffed Tomatoes, and I can’t wait to try it again in all kinds of recipes. It’s wonderful to discover new foods. Also, regarding the Lamb-Stuffed Tomatoes: this second time that we made it with the quinoa, we also completely eliminated all of the oil it calls for because ground lamb is rather a fatty and greasy meat. The oil wasn’t necessary at all and the meal tasted, if possible, even better. So if you’re going to give the recipe a shot, try it with no oil (and maybe quinoa instead of rice)!

13 comments

  1. Ok, here’s a stupid question. Where do you find quinoa? I want to try it (but to be honest haven’t actually looked for it.) Is it with the rice and stuff or someplace else in the grocery store?

    Mmmm, apple and banana chips.


  2. Thanks for the tips on the dehydrator.


  3. I love roti. Have a great recipe, but I just buy mine already made from a Trinidadian food shop & take them home & warm them up! Too much work! I'll email you my recipe over the weekend!


  4. I love that you are experimenting with such wonderful foods that a lot of people aren’t accustomed to.

    I can’t wait to go back and look at your recipe for the homemade sugar scrub.


  5. Glad you liked the quinoa!! Such a delicious, versatile grain.


  6. Robin- I thought I’d have to go to a specialty store, but I actually found it right in the rice section at Safeway. So just check the rice section in your grocery store and you should be able to find it no problem!

    Running Knitter- I’m sure I’ll be able to give more tips once I’ve experimented more and made some more mistakes:)

    DaDivaStreet- Thanks for stopping by and commenting! That would be really great if you could send me your recipe. Roti is so delicious.

    Big Girl- its so much fun to try out new/unusual foods. The sugar scrub was a recipe from Gena so you can find it over at her blog (I’ve got it linked on my sugar scrub post).

    Veggiegirl- me too! I’ve already found dozens of recipes for the stuff. I like how it can be used in the place of so many different kinds of grains.


  7. ok I had never heard of ROTI! (but I heart the quinoa and have a dehydrator. does that count?)

    sad for me huh?

    Miz.


  8. I used my dehydrator a lot to make beef jerky. But I think I over did it because it stopped working in the middle of a batch. It was great because getting jerky made from hubby’s hunting meat was really expensive. Plus recipes are totally easy (allrecipes or something). One tip for that, make sure you either use lots of salt or a jerky preserver because otherwise it can still go bad and mold.


  9. MizFit- get yourself to the nearest Indian restaurant and order yourself up a roti! Its beyond yummy. And thanks for all of your postings about quinoa; I might have totally missed out on it otherwise:)

    Randi- thanks for the tip! I’m really excited to make beef jerky. That’s too bad that your dehydrator stopped working (but I’m very jealous that you get fresh hunting meat- that must be incredibly good).


  10. This is funny – I just pulled my dehydrator out the other day – haven’t used it for several years. I dehydrated a lot of spinach, some parsley, some dill weed and some chives.
    I also use it to dehydrate tomatoes and peppers, which can then be ground together and used as a flavourful addition to sauces and chili, etc.

    Oh, and you can put your beef jerky in the deep freeze – helps to make it last a lot longer….


  11. Bag Lady- great ideas! Those would be perfect in sauces.

    I used to have a herb garden when I lived in a house instead of the condo and I’d dry my herbs by putting them in paper bags and hanging them from the ceiling, all old school style. It was so much fun. So I think I’ll have to take some herbs from our mini potted herb garden and dry them in the dehydrator for old times sake:)


  12. oooh I love Roti!! And now I’m coveting a food dehydrator. Thanks a lot;)


  13. Ha Ha!! One of the best dishes I ever made was as a beginning “chef” when I turned the oven to CLEAN by mistake rather than bake! The meal was quite tender 🙂



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