Thursday, March 4, 2010


today was full of excitement. i bought a food dehydrator! this is a big deal for me. for one thing, i very rarely buy anything new--i can’t remember the last thing i bought (other than necessities like food) that wasn’t previously-owned. i felt conflicted about the purchase. beforehand i went online and researched DIY food dehydration--building one’s own dehydrator, or just using the sun, or using the oven on a low setting and leaving the door open...everything has drawbacks. either the method takes up too much space, too many materials, too much energy, heats too high (part of the point is creating *raw* dry foods), dries slowly or unreliably, and/or there’s risk of contamination.

for the last few months i’ve been looking for dehydrators at thrift stores, but no luck at all. so this morning i woke up and thought to myself, “i’m going to buy a goddamn dehydrator today, and fuck the consequences.” not in those exact words maybe. but i was indeed resolved and defiant about it.

i got a nesco american harvest snackmaster encore, and was smart enough to print a coupon so i spent under $50 ( has it for about $70). it’s working away downstairs right now, drying my first batch of apples and bananas. i just tasted a few apple slices and they are ridiculously, addictively yummy. i soaked them in lemon juice first and they didn’t brown at all. it’s amazing how different they are from the dried apple slices you can buy at the store...much more flavorful and not sticky or gooey.

i can’t wait to use this thing to dry herbs from my garden, and tomatoes, peppers, kale chips, many possibilities. it also has a tray for making fruit leathers and raw foods wraps/breads/etc. finally i can actually use most of the recipes in the raw food uncookbooks i regularly check out from the library! and i can start making my own raw foods recipes. the raw part of my diet is so boring and uncomplicated, the most exciting thing i do is blend a few things together in the food processor and call it a “sandwich spread.”

after that little victory i went grocery shopping then went to home depot for some materials my dad asked me to get. (he doesn’t drive, he only rides his bike, so sometimes i have to do his dirty work for him). the outdoor garden center is open--i wandered out and perused the plants and trellises and such. it felt like springtime in a big way.

the sky was gorgeous all day. unreal blue with colossal, well-defined clouds that look like heaps of corn starch. i saw the first honeybee of the season--it alighted on my car while i waited at a stoplight. of course i would’ve much rather experienced all this on my bike, riding along the greenbelt with the fresh warm air all around me, but that wasn’t happening today, i had too many places to be and things to do.

i finally met up with the spokesperson for mccall’s community garden and did an interview for my article. it took a long time to schedule because the group needed to have a meeting and discuss their plans for this season. it sounds like such a fun project--a band of small-town gardeners passionate about local food, working on a sizeable patch of land lent to them for free, growing basically whatever they can and donating most of it to the foodbank. next i’m going to talk to beki at the boise branch of the foodbank, who’s working on a project to coordinate better with local community gardens, among other things.

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