Handy Slicer/Grater

When a friend of mine saw the silver grater that I used to shred squash for the dehydrator she wanted to know if it was an attachment for a KitchenAid Mixer. When I went into further details about the little utensil, she mentioned that a story about my tool would be a good post, so this is a little about that.

A food and vegetable cutter.

Cutting barrels can be changed from shredding to slicing

The name on the side of the box called it a Salad Master or Salad Maker by Foodco. The only way I know this is because back in 2017, when I did the original post about this handy-dandy machine I happened to take a picture of the box and that is what you see now. The original post was titled Carrot Chips. The slicer/grater does not have any markings on it at all. It has a suction cup base and that little flipper on the bottom holds the unit in place with that suction cup as long as there is a little moisture on the glass cutting board that I use. Continue reading

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And Fruit Too

trays of figs, blueberries and apples ready for dehydratorI am keeping the dehydrator busy these days with lots of veggies. And when I get tired of doing that, I switch to fruit.

Today happened to be blueberries, apples sliced thin, and figs. I love adding these scrumptious goodies to my ‘adventure fruit’ stash, those little baggies that I carry in the car, in jacket pockets, in suitcases and everywhere I go. The mixtures are are a good little pick-me-up so I don’t go in search of those snacks that are not nearly as healthy.

As soon as this batch is done drying, I will switch back to veggies.

Speaking of the veggies, I had a friend tell me that she freezes her zucchini/summer squash. She told me that she has always grated the squash and froze it to make fritters or bread well after summer is over. I could see this working well if the squash is frozen into baggies of one or two cups in each so when it came time to make the baking, the correct amount could be pulled from the freezer easily.

She also mentioned that today they are busy slicing and blanching squash for one minute before freezing. Her mother-in-law said to fry it up with a little corn meal. From freezer to frying pan is how she stated it, no thawing necessary. Now I’m intrigued and may have to do a little creative preserving on my own to see how it works.

Another Soup Ingredient

Grating up squash to be put through food dehydratorSince the summer squash, both yellow and green zucchini is so prolific right now, I have been grating trays and trays of the stuff to run through the food dehydrator. Squash are mostly water and even though I fill the trays up, only a small amount is left after the drying process. It will probably take all seven trays filled at least twice to get enough volume to fill a gallon bag about halfway (this would be the minimum amount that I would need for my fall and winter supply).

Squash is just one dehydrated ingredient that I like to keep on hand to use in soups and stews during the winter months. As the garden continues to produce, I will also dry onions, carrots, beans, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, and a little cabbage. Once the mushrooms come on in the fall, I’ll be drying a  large amount of them also.

If I get fancy, I’ll make up little packages of mixtures, but usually I just have a bagful of each one and just grab a tablespoon or a handful as needed.

Three In One Day

Finding a bees nest this time of year is not unusual. Finding three in one day is unlikely and finding three different kinds in one day is practically unheard of but it happened today.

Mike was moving some logs with the teeth of the front loader tractor from the back landing to the closer landing, when all of a sudden he had bees swarming around him. He stayed on the tractor and hauled the log all the way forward before setting it down near the other logs in the landing. He saw bees hanging around but not as many as he saw when he first picked up the log. With closer inspection he noticed the log had a hollow end and the bees had moved into the hollow and had a good sized nest in there. Continue reading

Just A Green Bean Emergency

I had a phone call from a friend, she asked what I was up to. The answer was that I am in the middle of a green bean emergency. It seems to happen this time of year, when all of a sudden and without a lot of warning, the row in the garden explodes with beans and I can’t keep up.  I always thought it was because I planted too many in the spring, but this year I only bought one packet and still I am nearly drowning in beans. Continue reading

Before The Sun Comes Up

I am writing this while sitting in the dark at my kitchen table. You may ask why, most normal people would, and I do have a good reason for having only the light from my computer screen illuminating my corner of the world.

Topmost bloom on a red rose bush.From the table I have a view out the large  window that faces east and is a favorite spot for the herd sire, two show cows with their calves to lounge through the night. It is a small end of their pasture just past the hedge of flowering sage, lavender, daphne and roses in their prime. Last night before going to bed I noticed the herd of elk coming out of the woods at the far end of the open field. From the picture you can see how close the pasture and fences are (during daylight hours of course). The elk I saw were right near that back corner and scattered through the far field. Continue reading