Thursday, May 24, 2007

Scratch and Sniff

It's just too bad we don't have Scratch and Sniff web pages because the above dianthus smells heavenly. Mind you, I'm not a great fan of cloves but, somehow, the clove scent from the carnation-type flowers is so waykewl that I just keep inhaling and smiling.

What's going on here is I'm experimenting with the Ronco food dehydrator. It was something Mom had and I scooped it up with the vague idea of doing something with it -- and then forgot it was there. Well, it was stored in an anonymous box so it was easy to forget. The other day, while looking for something else entirely, I peeked in the box to see what surprise was hidden therein and said, "Hooboy! That looks like fun. Let's see what we can do with it."

And it has been fun. I'm drying assorted veggies with the idea of having stores of future soup ingredients tucked away. So far I've begun bagging up tomatoes, carrots and celery. There is also a nice bagful of bread cubes. Haven't done any fruit yet but that's next, for sure. In the meantime, the dianthus smells so good I decided to see how it handled itself in the dryer. Might make a nice addition to a potpourri mix. You never can tell.

Even if it doesn't work out for the potpourri, I can tell you the kitchen sure smells great right now. So much so that I'm thinking the next things to dry should be orange and lemon rinds. Now, there's a plan! And if I can locate my favorite marinade recipe, can jerky be far behind?


Denver doug said...

Wouldn't the Dianthus make a wonderful addition to a batch of Potpourri ?

Dee said...

That's what I was thinking, Doug. The fragrance is so sturdy, it should hold up. Cross your fingers!

John Bailey said...

Had to go off and google for the ronco machine -- I've never seen one here. I'm not a fan of beef jerky but I do like the idea of being able to dry garden produce.

Excuse an ignorant Brit question, though, Dee -- like, is a device like this any better than using the oven on an ordinary cooking range, on a very low setting?

Dee said...

John, yes, I think it IS better. More economical on electricity -- and some regular ovens won't even register as low a temp as you need. Also, if you're doing any serious amount of drying, you will appreciate a dedicated unit that gives you better control over things. The Ronco is about the most basic of machines, I think -- no temp control or fan -- but I haven't found that to be a problem. If I were to buy a unit, however, I'd Google "electric dehydrator" and check out other brands in the same price range that DO have those features. Nesco is one, I think. Oh -- I don't do beef jerky either, John. I'm gonna do turkey and chicken. (grin)

bb said...

Assuming the picture was taken during the drying process because I didn't recognize the flower. LOL

Orange and lemon rinds are often in potpourri mixes. Just think you could bag up some and sell it from the store. :-)

John Bailey said...

Thanks for the expansion, Dee, I'm coming to understand it now.

As a thought, developing Bonnie's idea, if it can dry whole oranges it'd be a wonderful way to produce old-style pomanders... :-)