With only 11 more weeks to complete 16 weeks worth of food, (Feeling a little anxious? Absolutely!!!!!) I am dehydrating everything – even bark and leather. Bark – not your ordinary bark – potato, barbecue potato, corn, butternut squash, and butternut squash pie. Leather – not the cowhide variety – tomato paste, salsa. Fruit – the ordinary dehydrated fruit – bananas. Leftovers too – breakfast casserole, unstuffed cabbage casserole, tuna-cheese soufflé casserole, and black bean stew. Interesting combination….
As I have investigated dehydration methods, I have discovered two different approaches to dehydrated meals. Method one is to dehydrate the ingredients and then combine them (back packing chef). Method two is to cook the meal and then dehydrate (Backpack Gourmet by Linda Frederick Yaffe). The jury is out on which method I prefer. I will keep you posted….
Using method one, last week, I dehydrated the ingredients bark, leather, and fruit. Bark can be eaten as a crunchy snack, added to meat and vegetables to create stew, or re-hydrated to make a meal or dessert. Potato bark (2 1/2 pounds dehydrates to 6 ounces) becomes mashed potatoes with meat and vegetables; BBQ potato bark – BBQ beef stew; Corn bark – corn bark stew with ham; Butternut squash ( The original recipe calls for sweet potatoes, but I didn’t grow sweet potatoes in my garden, so….) – butternut squash porridge; Butternut squash pie bark (originally pumpkin pie) – butternut squash pie (This is delicious dry or reconstituted.). Leathers are similar to bark but are pliable instead of crunchy. Salsa leather (similar to tomato sauce leather) can be used to create a Mexican-style meal by combining it with rice, chicken and/or black beans, and vegetables such as bell peppers and corn. Fruit can be added to trail mix or granola. The downside to this method is we won’t be taste-testing the meal before our trip. Kind-of scary! (But not as scary as our Science Experiment!)
Method two does provide us with the opportunity to pre-taste the meal. Cooking the meal and then dehydrating it also kills two birds with one stone (provides two meals with one preparation). Last week we ate and dehydrated breakfast casserole (Backpack Gourmet by Linda Frederick Yaff, page 21) , unstuffed cabbage roll casserole, tuna-cheese soufflé casserole (Backpack Gourmet by Linda Frederick Yaffe, page 121) , and black bean stew (Backpack Gourmet by Linda Frederick Yaffe, page 89), – all were delicious.
Wow! All this in one week. This week – trail cake, beets, hash browns, rice, black beans, potato chips, more potato bark, lazy lasagna, tortilla chip casserole, who knows …….