Friday, March 16, 2012

Drydrating Shredded Zucchini

Last summer my hubby brought home some zucchinis from work.  You know the kind...big as your arm.  Normally I would slice, batter and fry them when they are that big, but I decided to try drying them instead.

I hadn't been happy with the quality of my frozen, shredded zucchini in the past.  When they were removed from the freezer and thawed, they seemed to liquefy, which then caused me to have to wring them out.  After that, it seemed they amounted to half what I originally froze and I didn't like the texture!  I was tired of it.

Enter my dehydrator...

I seeded the monster zucchinis and put them through my Cuisinart with the shredder blade.

Since I didn't have my Harvest Maid Dryer at the time (thank  you, Mom), I dried them in my cheap-o Ronco dehydrator with white netting (purchased at the fabric store) laid in the trays so only a few of the shreds would escape.  It worked pretty well, except something was wrong with the heating element and I had to keep turning the trays.  It took about 12- ish hours to complete.

This is what I ended up with.  About 4 c. dried...
I measured before I dried and the ratio was 1 c. fresh, pre-dried=1/3 c. dried.

I had some extra zucchini that just wouldn't go through the shredder because it was just too small so I dried it along with the rest, figuring it would be good to throw in soup later...

I didn't treat the zucchinis before hand and some did brown a little.  But when I rehydrated them they seemed to go right back to their original color.

Here is the process...
this is 2/3 c. dried to 2 c. water at 2 hours soaking time

They look fairly close to their pre-dehydrated state!

Then I just placed them in a strainer, gave them a rinse...
(it came out to just shy of 2 cups)
...and moved on to make my zucchini bread...

 They worked beautifully in the bread and none of us could tell the difference in quality versus fresh grated zucchini.

So...I will continue to dehydrate grated zucchini!  It saves on space and has a very low difficulty factor.

That's it for the great zucchini experiment.  I'll try rehydrating my blackberries next.  Fingers crossed!

Laura Williams' Musings

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

1814 Butterfly Collection

Well, the needle is back in my hand.  I've been busily working on the 1814 Butterfly Collection pattern by Carriage House Samplings.  I love their patterns and the pretty turquoise colors in the piece really caught my eye.

I'm at the halfway mark right now...
...and slowly gaining ground.  It's going a lot slower than I expected though.  There is a lot more detail to some of those little guys than I realized.  My least favorite part?  Yes, I have one...the petit point stitches.  There are about 8-9 butterflies that are done in petit point and I'm afraid my eyes just aren't what they once were. 

This little fella is my favorite so far...
...easy, simple, straight forward cross stitch.
Don't look at my work too carefully...remember petit point is my enemy and I'm not all that thrilled with satin stitching either!

Tonight I'll probably fill in my friend below and hopefully finish up the center column by the end of the week.

I've decided that this is the year that I need to finish up or just plain clear out some projects from my craft room.  I have a pile of cross stitching to do...and sewing...and knitting.  It's gotten out of control.  Maybe one day, I'll take pictures of my stash and share.  I always enjoy looking at other folks goodies, so why not.

Off I flit...