Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dehydrating Ground Beef

If you're like me, you use ground beef lots of different ways. Hamburgers, meatballs, spaghetti sauce, salisbury steak and many casseroles call for ground beef. Buying it on sale and loading up the freezer is one way to take advantage of it but dehydrating reduces the bulk of ground beef and saves on freezer space. Here is a very simple method to oven-dehydrate ground beef:

Oven Drying Method Makes Dehydrating Ground Meats Easy and Practical

 Almost everyone has heard of drying meats to make jerky- a popular dried treat for hikers and campers. But, did you also know that you can dry ground beef?

There are many reasons why dehydrating ground beef is practical and money-saving. It allows you to buy ground beef in larger packages on sale and not have them fill up your freezer. Also, five pounds of ground beef that has
been dehydrated can fit into a quart jar and be stored in the pantry for up to a year. Dried ground beef can be thrown directly into stews, sauces and casseroles and can also be quickly rehydrated for other purposes.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tired of Canning Cherries? Dehydrate Them Instead!

I put up cherries in many different ways but my favorite is dehydrating. Dried cherries are great in muffins, granola or even just a snack. They are easy to dry and keep for a long time.

Making Your Own Dried Cherries Saves Money and Preserves the Harvest

Here in Georgia, the end of June means cherry season. The farmer's markets and grocery stores are filled with bins of red, black and bing cherries and it is practically impossible to not pick some more up on each visit. 

Cherries are a good candidate for preserving and there are many ways to do that including canning and freezing. The easiest method, however, is drying them in a food dehydrator. They will last for at least a year in a dark cupboard or practically indefinitely in the freezer. 


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

So far, this summer has been all about cherries for me. There are the most beautiful, sweet cherries in the markets this year and I want to save them any way I can. I have already dehydrated several batches of them (full article on the how-to to come soon). I make Lemon Cherry Multigrain muffins with dried cherries that are a big hit around here. I will make some cherry jam this weekend and also soak some of my dried cherries in brandy to serve over a lemon pudding cake.

What I'm craving the most though is cherry ice cream. When I was young, my grandparents always took me to to a little town about 30 miles from their house to buy pints of handmade black cherry ice cream. It was absolutely worth the drive. I have not had anything like it since and I think I'm ready to give it a go myself. I have the Kitchenaid ice cream attachment that I already know works great (see my recipe for Cardamom Ice Cream). I will post when I know how it works out!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How to Make Devonshire Hedgerow Jelly

A Traditional Jelly Made from Seasonal Fruits

Although having called Canada home for six generations, my family, almost without exception, is from England and has been there for at least five hundred years. One side of the family is from Yorkshire to the north, while the other is from the balmy Devonshire coast. Each region has its own traditional dishes and food ways and I always revel in the opportunity to discover what my ancestors likely put on their tables and in their pantries.

Make Your Own Herbal Vinegars: Do-It-Yourself Gifts for the Kitchen

Gourmet chefs have used herb-infused vinegars for decades to give dishes a deep, rich note or a bright finishing touch. The price of store-bought herbal vinegars is steadily increasing as it is considered a "gourmet" item. Luckily, it's easy to make your own herbal vinegar at home. Herbal vinegars make wonderful hostess and holiday gifts but are also indispensable in your own kitchen.  

Growing an Herbal Pharmacy

Herbs have been used for healing purposes for thousands of years. Herbs also form the basis for many of our prescription medications today. It's easy to grow your own herbal pharmacy and you'll be ready the next time you have a headache or a cut or a burn. 


The Feared Rice Shortage Doesn't Impact My Pantry

Big box retailers Sam's Club and Costco recently implemented restrictions on the amount of rice their consumers can buy at one time. Sam's has put a limit of four 20 pound bags per purchase. The retailer has stated simply that it is based on "supply and demand trends," but CNN reported earlier this week that some people were stockpiling rice and others were shipping large amounts of the grain to family members in Asia and India. This is the first time Sam's Club has put restrictions on the purchase of bulk goods in its history.