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Friday, May 27, 2011

White Beans - Dehydrated

There are a few recipes that I want to include in my 72 hour kit and also in my Dinner in a Jar setup, and that is using beans.  Well, beans typically take a 12 hour soaking, or at least more cooking, than I want to do.  So I decided if the LDS cannery could offer refried beans, dried and ready for use anytime, then I could do the same with any bean. The pressure canned ones are on the left, and the cooked and dried ones are on the right.

These are white beans that I have cooked and dehydrated (taking about 8 to 10 hours).  I can't wait to try them!

Herbs and Beans

This morning I put some mint leaves and chamomile flowers in the ove at 120 degrees to dry today, and in the dehydrator I have cooked, cooled, rinsed and smashed white beans to dry.  I will then be able to cook them "instantly" for Dinner in a Jar type soup or meals. 

I'll add photos later of the completed items.  Any questions, let me know. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

72 hour kit dinners and Navy Beans!

Yesterday I created two more kinds of 72 hour kit size "Dinners are in the Jar", which I just need to add boiling water to (and boil in a won't work just adding boiling water, although it's probably possible it would work in a wonderbox oven scenario), and today I pressure canned white beans from the cannery.  Yum!!! So tomorrow night we'll have Virginia's beans.  Fantastic stuff!

Also you can see my red potatoes I harvested today. Yum!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Using Solar Cooker as a Refrigerator

I went to a solar cooking class today and this information was presented.  I am beyond amazed!!!  You can find the best info on what was paraphrased to us today here:  with directions to make here

How to Use the Solar Funnel as a Refrigerator/Cooler

A university student (Jamie Winterton) and I were the first to demonstrate that the BYU Solar Funnel Cooker can be used—at night —as a refrigerator. Here is how this is done.
The Solar Funnel Cooker is set-up just as you would during sun-light hours, with two exceptions:
1. The funnel is directed at the dark night sky. It should not “see" any buildings or even trees. (The thermal radiation from walls, trees, or even clouds will diminish the cooling effect.).
2. It helps to place 2 (two) bags around the jar instead of just one, with air spaces between the bags and between the inner bag and the jar. HDPE and ordinary polyethylene bags work well, since polyethylene is nearly transparent to infrared radiation, allowing it to escape into the “heat sink” of the dark sky.
During the day, the sun's rays are reflected onto the cooking vessel which becomes hot quickly. At night, heat from the vessel is radiated outward, towards empty space, which is very cold indeed (a “heat sink").
As a result, the cooking vessel now becomes a small refrigerator. We routinely achieve cooling of about 29 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) below ambient air temperature using this remarkably simple scheme.
In September 1999, we placed two funnels out in the evening, with double-bagged jars inside. One jar was on a block of wood and the other was suspended in the funnel using fishing line. The temperature that evening (in Provo, Utah) was 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a Radio Shack indoor/outdoor thermometer, a BYU student (Colter Paulson) measured the temperature inside the funnel and outside in the open air. He found that the temperature of the air inside the funnel dropped quickly by about 15 degrees, as its heat was radiated upwards in the clear sky. That night, the minimum outdoor air temperature measured was 47.5 degrees—but the water in both jars had ICE. I invite others to try this, and please let me know if you get ice at 55 or even 60 degrees outside air temperature (minimum at night). A black PVC container may work even better than a black-painted jar, since PVC is a good infrared radiator—these matters are still being studied.
I would like to see the “Funnel Refrigerator” tried in desert climates, especially where freezing temperatures are rarely reached. It should be possible in this way to cheaply make ice for Hutus in Rwanda and for aborigines in Australia, without using any electricity or other modern “tricks.” We are in effect bringing some of the cold of space to a little corner on earth. Please let me know how this works for you.

One style of funnel solar oven he's talking about is here:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gardening Gardening

The gorgeous greens in the garden makes the effort to have one all the better.  Here is a picture of our potato plants and our potato, chard and tomato plants...just a few of many more.  Also the chamomile plant is doing so wonderfully, I usually have tea every other day or so!

Friday, May 13, 2011

More dehydrating and New Garden Box

Below is the latest and greatest vegetable garden box!

Below is my latest dehyrating, herbs from our garden.  It includes rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, cilantro and oregano!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The New Garden Box and Dehydrating Herbs

We have our new garden box in now, thanks to my husband's excitement about it! We filled it with good soil and planted a few things to start.  I have some seeds to plant also, but for now we have a tomato, two cucumbers, a zucchini and um, now I forgot what else!

I also took a bunch of herbs (now is the time) and began to dry them: oregano, rosemary, parsley, cilantro, sage and thyme.  Yum!!! What joy this will bring to our dinners!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dehydrating Days

Been doing a lot of dehyrating for Dinners in a Jar and just for general use.  I love how easy and fun it is!  Above are baby carrots, yogurt, pizza sauce, pineapple, and two peas/carrots.