Thursday, June 2, 2011

Potatoes and Chicken

I've been dehydrating potatoes lately.  The last batch was for potatoes to turn into mashed taters. After peeling, I sliced the potatoes at about 1/4". Then I used the amazing Vidalia Chop Wizard, and turned them into little squares. Turned out perfectly.

Just to show how off the chicken, here's a picture of the pints of chicken that I canned. These four jars contain one whole chicken without bones.

After this first batch, I think I'm going to can the chicken in half pints.  Neither Max nor I like having more than 2 meals of the same thing. Both of us are trying to cut back on the amount of meat we eat, and I eat far less than he does.  The full pints are just too much for most dishes the chicken will be used in, for example - stir fries and casseroles.  I intend to do half-pints for those uses from now on. I think about the only thing the full pints could be used for are chicken salad and chicken and dumplings.


madhyatmika said...

When you dehydrate the potatoes or anything, do you cook them first?

I need to do more dehydrating. I have a good machine, but I only use it rarely.

Jola Gayle said...

Disaster can happen anytime, and I'm trying to get prepared for it. When they had a horrible ice storm here a few years ago, they lost power for 2 weeks, and the roads were nigh onto impassable. The National Guard managed to get in and left MREs. You can survive on them, but they're not the best tasting things in the world.

The dehydrated veggies take less storage space and make delicious soups, stews and dishes like chow mein. I've got 4 pounds of carrots in less than 1/2 of a jar, 40 pounds of potatoes in 6 jars, 16 cans of corn in 3 jars, ten pounds of onions in 2 jars, etc. You can see the efficiency of it.

It may not get us through a year, but we can likely survive another ice storm :-)

madhyatmika said...

Do you cook the veggies first? Chop, cook, dehydrate? Or cook, chop, dehydrate? Or just chop and dehydrate? I'm such a noob, but I love the idea and would like to try it.

Jola Gayle said...

Chop, blanch, dehydrate. Sorry I missed your question in your comment. Different blanching times for different veggies - onions: none, cabbage: about 30 seconds, potatoes: until the starch rises.

I like to watch this woman's youtube tutorials:
Usually have to rewatch to remind myself of the blanching times. I keep meaning to write it down, but it hasn't happened yet.

Do you have to worry about mudslides or fires where you are? I figure earthquakes taking out power stations is a given.

madhyatmika said...

I've been pretty lucky on both coasts; managed to find a little oasis of safety in each. Not that something horrific couldn't happen; but we're not on a fault line, far enough away from most to avoid problems from any but the biggest quakes; far enough inland to miss tidal waves; I'm in the downtown area of the city, avoiding most fires and mudslides.

My husband's family is Mormon though; they believe in keeping a year's worth of food for emergencies, so there's a large pantry built right into the kitchen. We'd like to get a generator, but can't really afford one. We've got plenty of water, and you've inspired me with the food; today I'm putting up plum jam and preserves, and dehydrating strawberries, plums (we have SOOOO many plums!)celery, whatever else I can find. Potatoes; love that idea.

Thanks for the link to the videos; I will check them out!