Saturday, 30 April 2016

Dehydrating apples and peaches

The last of my peaches were ripe, so I decided to dehydrate them.  As with pears, I'm not sure that peaches really taste like anything special dehydrated.  I'll probably try and use them for cooking, otherwise they just get snacked on for the sake of snacking by anyone they are offered to.

These were roadside apples of various flavours and textures.

Dehydrating, Apple, Roadside - 2016-03-31 - 01

Then, there's the Blackboy peach tree I bought from Southern Woods nursery several years back.  Note that it looks to be a Golden Queen peach.  It was the first year this tree fruited, and I have to say that I'm glad it is a Golden Queen.  Who needs two Blackboys?  And they were fat juicy fruit.

Dehydrating, Peach, Golden Queen - 2016-03-31 - 01

The Blackboy peach tree was already present when I moved into this property.  It seems to have some pest problem, and gets marks which are filled with crystalised stuff.  Probably some obvious pest like codling moth for all I know.  I need to look into it for next year.

Dehydrating, Peach, Blackboy - 2016-03-31 - 01

Got a decent amount of bagged dehydrated peach in the cupboard, and huge jars filled with dehydrated apple.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Processing roadside pears

While there's at least twenty roadside apple trees around here, there's only one roadside pear.  The fruit on this goes grainy pretty quick, and is on the smaller side.  However, this year I managed to catch it in the right week and picked enough to dehydrate a few trays.

Pear, Roadside - 2016-03-20 - 01 - Awaiting processing

Looking at the dehydrator, it must have been around three or four trays.

Pear, Roadside - 2016-03-20 - 02 - Dehydrating

These just filled up a large hinged jar.  Though, dehydrated pear tastes a bit.. perfumy for my liking.  I'm going to try and rehydrate them and see if I can use them that way.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Processing Takahue garlic

I gathered the garlic out of the shed, and cleaned it, then brought it inside for processing.  First step was sorting the heads for size.

Garlic, Takahue - 2016-03-05 - 01 - Ready for processing

I bagged up a small onion sack of the largest heads.  I did another bag for myself, and then the rest went to people who also do not like spending $20 a kg for garlic.

The bag below was awaiting delivery.

Garlic, Takahue - 2016-03-06 - 01 - Awaiting delivery

I also plaited some of the smaller heads, really struggling to follow some YouTube videos.  And then there's another small amount still hanging out in the shed, which came from a second bed interplanted amongst all the seed kale. Those are kind of stunted and probably suffered for what they were planted between (brassicas) and perhaps also lack of water.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Processing pea seed

I shelled and processed the Onward pea seed I saved this year.

First step was to remove the floaters.

Pea, Onward - 2016-03-04 - 01 - Identifying floaters

Then drain the water to dry the seed.

Pea, Onward - 2016-03-04 - 02 - Drained non-floaters

Thankfully it was mildly windy, on and off.  So put the seeds out in the sun for the afternoon.

Pea, Onward - 2016-03-04 - 03 - Drying processed seed

And the last step once they were dry was to put them in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer for three days, after which they were removed and put away in storage in the house.  Some will be replanted next Spring, and the rest used for cooking over the Winter.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Dehydrating Hawthorn

Last year, I quite successfully dehydrated hawthorn leather.  This year, I could only remember the vague outline of how I did it, and while I did it again, I didn't do it well.

These are roadside hawthorn trees, so I needed to soak and wash the fruit several times.  Note the stalks.  Do not make the same mistake I did this time and pick the hawthorn if they are not coming away from the stalks.  Picking the stalks out is just too much hassle otherwise.

Hawthorne - 2016-04-21 - 01 - Washing

Drained for the last time.

Hawthorne - 2016-04-21 - 02 - Drained

And in a suitable bowl to be squeezed until all the flesh and skin is seperated from the stones.

Hawthorne - 2016-04-21 - 03 - Ready to mash

This was then forced through the sieve into the metal bowl, and the stones discarded.  The sieve was damaged by this process, and the stones still contain a good deal of the best part of the hawthorn when discarded.

Hawthorne - 2016-04-21 - 04 - Mashed and strained

The liquid was then spread over two trays and dehydrated.

Hawthorne - 2016-04-21 - 05 - Ready to dehydrate

And the result was this little bag of leather.

Hawthorne - 2016-04-22 - 01 - Dehydrated

So for my future attempts, this is my checklist:

  1. Pick the fruit when it separates from the stalks, leaving the stalks on the tree.
  2. Remove all the stalks from the fruit.
  3. Soak for an hour at least.
  4. Rinse and wash until the water is clear to remove dirt.
  5. Put in the bowl to be used for squeezing flesh from stone.
  6. Take stoney pulp and spread out on a large flat surface.  Pick out all the stones by hand painfully.
  7. Wash the stones in a minimal amount of water, then remove stones and discard.
  8. Combine stoneless pulp and water stones were rinsed in.
  9. Dry in the dehydrator in the thickest possible layers.
And it should produce the best possible result.

Pumpkin seed inventory

Over a month ago now, I went through the remaining pumpkin seed I have from Spring and bagged it to store in the freezer.  These will all get used next Spring, as I plan to plant significantly more.

Looking at these, I see that I've got at least two fruit of each in the shed, except for Triamble and Australian Butter.  There are two small Triamble still on the vine which I hope will ripen sufficiently before the first frost, and one Australian Butter in the same situation.

Pumpkin, Seed, Mixed - 01 - 2016-03-02