Canning jars are everywhere in my home. There are jars in the fridge and freezer, and populating the cupboards and shelves in my kitchen. Many are bursting with dried goods of all sorts and others are filled with assorted and sundry floating in acidic and syrupy liquids — an apothecary of deliciousness. There are other jars still; in my office, basement, and even in the garden. I use jars to hold my surplus of self-saved seed, and others to house crafting and home repair supplies. There are jars in the bathroom stuffed with handmade epsom salts, cotton balls, and Q-tips. Jars are used to transport road trip meals and others affixed with water-tight plastic lids make it possible for us to bring our own home brewed cappuccinos to go.
My friend Abbey has lent me her Excalibur 9 Tray Food Dehydrator for the weekend. This gorgeous beast is the queen of dehydrators. I used to wonder if it was worth the expense or if the excitement around it was mostly hype. I was officially sold when Abbey bought hers (the machine I am borrowing now) and offered me a taste of her first batch through it, peach slices that were truly dry, crisp, and absolutely perfect.
This is how my friend Abbey stores a large quantity of freshly picked apricots over the short term. She uses recycled egg cartons to prevent the fruit from touching, which she says decreases their chances for rot. Brilliant, don’t you think? And a great way to recycle egg cartons, too!
It has been unbearably hot and muggy here over the last few days. If you’re living with the same conditions, I recommend waiting for the humidity to lift before attempting to air dry any significant quantity of herbs. However, the other night Davin picked too much thyme for a meal and spontaneously constructed this contraption as a way to ensure that the herbs were able to get air on all sides and avoid going moldy.
It’s just a paper bag clipped to the rope that raises and lowers the kitchen blinds by a close pin. It isn’t fancy, but I was impressed by his ingenuity.
This morning I was over at a friend’s, and she had set up a similar contraption to dry large quantities of lavender. Her’s was a clothesline strung across the kitchen with each bunch of lavender in its own paperbag to catch the flowers that would otherwise fall and drop onto her head and into meals at the table. She also used clothespins to hold the bags on the line.