Category Archives: Drying

Leather

I neither use sugar nor do I have a freezer. My favourite way of preserving fruit is drying and the quickest way of drying fruit in an oven is by making fruit leather…simply boil the fruit to sterilise and mashing as you boil, then pour into an oven tray and dry for a few hours at about 40C!
Have just finished a batch of redcurrants (rips) and raspberries (bringebær). The raspberries were both wild red raspberries, an old Norwegian yellow (gulbringebær) and a cultivar “White Russian”

See last year’s blog on raspberry / bilberry leather here: http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=13187

12th August Added pictures of leather made from cloudberries, bilberries and wild raspberries!

Pea and broad bean diversity

I always grow many different types of peas and broad beans (favas) (erter og bondebønner). Peas (Pisum sativum) rarely if ever cross so I grow them very close to each other. Broad beans do cross, but active selection I do manage to keep several varieties true to type (such as crimson flowered with its distinctive beautiful lime green beans ).They’ve been lying around the house on windowsills drying for two months and I finally got round to sorting them, saving some for seed, and saving extra of good ones for Norwegian Seed Savers’ yearbook. The rest I just mix to make mixed bean falafel and pea soup later in the winter!

Apple moon weekend

At the apple moon coring and cutting apples is a must..processed a couple of hundred apples today, now drying over the wood stove and in the oven. It’s a it more urgent than normal as -8C when I finally managed to harvest them was a bit too much and they won’t be able to be stored long this year (all have brownish blotches on the outside), a bit like the supermoon picture I just took, see below ;)

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Worcesterleather and dried Aronia berries

The best October berry here is a berry that I have concluded in the past is Worcesterberry, although I had received it as Jostaberry, see the following blog post from 2015, I http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=2391 (it is thorny which Jostaberry is not).
During the PDC course at the weekend, the students helped harvest these berries in the garden..these are now drying in the oven for fruit leather, together with Aronia berries…
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I’ve been eating my Worcesterberries daily with breakfast almost every day….yesterday, I harvested the last ones at -10C!! Added video of the worcestermarbles!

Around the world in 80 Alliums

Yesterday, I gave my first talk about my (second) love of onions (alternative title All you wanted to know about Alliums but were afraid to ask!)….fittingly in the nursery with I believe the best selection of Alliums being sold as foodplants in Europe if not the world , my friend Aiah Noack’s Naturplanteskolen just outside of Copenhagen. Aiah is the author of an excellent book Fantasilater (fantasy salads), only in Danish so far which also includes several Alliums. My book Around the World in 80 plants mentions some 45 Allium species!
In a little over 2 hours I covered about 66 of the world’s cold hardy onions and over 80 if we include cultivars and subspecies…
Other onion related topics were also covered, such as “grow your own fireworks and Xmas decorations”, “Allium as a dancing partner”, the Allium microphone (Alliomike) and the garlic scape armband to keep “wild” animals, trolls and mosquitos away (Transylvanian Garlic keeps vampires away too)… It was a fun afternoon with yet another great group of edimentals fans! ;) 

The video  is of one of my pictures about drying Persian Shallots with a shot of my drying racks over my wood burning stove. Someone noticed that you could actually see heat rising through the racks!!!! (a wood burning stove was on behind the projector) ;)

Persian shallot confusion!

I’ve also harvested onions of Allium stipitatum “Album”, one of the so-called Ornamental onions…but for those in the know also a fantastic Edimental onion. I bought this one as Allium rosenbachianum “Album” from Taylor’s bulbs in 2009. My friend, THE onion man,Mark McDonough​ tentatively ID’d it rather as Allium stipitatum “Album” – a bit disappointed as I’d just discovered a paper documenting the traditional use of the young leaves of rosenbachianum in traditional soup dishes in Tajikistan (see http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?p=6578). However, stipitatum is one of at least 3 species of onion of which the bulbs are harvested, sliced and dried and sold as Persian shallots around the world. I’d earlier blogged about a second tall edimental onion I was growing; ID’d by Dutch onion grower Wietse Mellema​ as probably Allium altissimum (but bought as Allium hirtifolium “Album”) (see my blog A Year in the life of the Persian Shallot – http://tinyurl.com/jexyak7 and
http://www.edimentals.com/blog/?page_id=893). However, Wietse commented this summer that he didn’t think it was altissimum….so still unsure what this is…
Anyway, I harvested the largest onions, replanted the smaller ones and they are now drying along with apples above my wood stove…must remember to mark them as onions when dried this year as the last time I did this somebody ate one thinking they were apples ;)

I also discovered that the roots that the bulbs had already put down in preparation of spring were tasty and crunchy…. to be used in tonight’s salad!

First load of wood dried apples

My first (of many) loads of apples drying over the wood stove!

I’m 100% self-sufficient in fruit and never buy bananas, oranges etc. and don’t use a freezer. When the apples are properly dried, they can be stored for several years (so if there’s a bad apple year next year I also have fruit next year…it’s a good year this year so I dry as much as possible). When fresh fruit isn’t available (typically from February to June), I use only dried fruit. Dried apples are fantastic to eat as they are and are popular with guests as snacks and also a perfect present for family and friends. I eat a home made muesli for breakfast every morning – large organic oat flakes that I buy in large sacks and I mix with various nuts. I soak a mix of dried fruit (apple, cherry, bilberry, plums, saskatoons etc.) and use them on the muesli.

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Prune plum harvest

Amazing how many plums you can get from one tree and this is only about 2/3 of the crop! Due to the lack of night here in May when they are flowering there is never a crop failure due to late frosts…so I can get this every year! The variety is called “Sviskeplomme” (literally prune plum…although they don’t look much like prunes when dried. All these are to be dried…so a bit of work de-stoning ahead of me!

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