So.....I bought a big ol' dehydrator.
For quite some time, I've been talking about cooking what's in season, when it's in season. Well, here in south central PA, that means amazing asparagus in May, corn and tomatoes July through the end of September and ALOT of root vegetables from November until mid-April. While I am certainly happy to celebrate the wide world of root vegetables, I'm also always looking for new flavors to add to our menu.
This past June, The Sheppard Mansion hosted former Top Chef contestant Richard Blais for a dinner in conjunction with the Gettysburg Festival. Before the dinner started, I had a few minutes to give Richard a tour of our property and we got to talking about preservation(rumor has it that we have a room dedicated to aging hams and a pretty extensive cold cellar......I'll never tell) and how to take products that are at their peak and preserve them for use later in the year. Now, it certainly doesn't take a Top Chef and 'the guy from the Sheppard Mansion' to come up with this idea. People have been preserving foods for hundreds of years, primarily for survival purposes. No or limited refrigeration meant having to 'put up' foods for the winter.
What we are doing is trying to put innovative and creative spins on traditional foodstuffs. Making our own raisins? Check. Dried corn? Check. Dehydrated huckleberries? You got it. What's next? Who knows.....All I can tell you is that we're having a ton of fun working with the dehydrator and are sure to come up with lots of interesting uses for it!
So, here's the specs. It's a L'Equip 535 watt FilterPro.