Where do you start? What’s possible? What works well and not so well? What are the tricks? The answer is, you tap into the wealth of skills and knowledge that already exist in the community and bring it together within a FOOD DEHYDRATING FORUM.
The group learned about making leather strips of fruit or veges, the ins and outs of meat jerky, fabulous and easy ways of dehydrating and re-hydrating whole dinners, semi dried tomatoes that start off reducing on a hot car bonnet, drying herbs, making yogurt and tips on reducing sauces/spreads to powders that reconstitute into things like tomato soup/paste, humus, babaganoush or an infinite number of other sauces that can be quickly added to dishes to boost nutrition and flavour.
Examples of dried foods were available to see/taste and one participant leaned that you must first blanch sweet potato rounds if you want them to result in really crispy yummy chips post dehydrating. Safe storage was also explored - plastic, glass or vacuum sealed bags and there were several brands of machines and cutting equipment on display to aid in future purchases.
All in all, it was exhilarating and inspiring and the best possible way to spend a cold cloudy winter’s day. The beginner dehydrators swam in a pool of tried and true knowledge while the experienced picked up further tips and recipes along with the satisfaction of sharing their skills. If there is sufficient interest, the forum could be run again next year.