Dried tomatoes worth the wait?

Many years when I have an abundance of tomatoes, I freeze them in 2-cup containers for soups, sauces and chili.  I star by dunking them in boiling water until the skins crack, and then moving them to cold water –  the skins pop right off. I chop them and freeze. What could be easier?

This year I decided to try something different with the few tomatoes that did not succumb to blossom end rot.

A few weeks ago, I came across directions to dry tomatoes to be used later to cook a rich and flavorful sauce.

I love sundried tomatoes and jump at the opportunity to order them in dishes whenever I can at restaurants. If I could make my own, it would be awesome.

My mom used to have an actual dehydrator. She bought it to make beef jerky, but vegetables were an added bonus. They didn’t take up a lot of room and you could use them in many dishes.

I was psyched and I rushed right out to the kitchen.

The directions said to slice them thin (¼ inch) and place them in one layer on a cookie sheet.

All you had to do was drizzle on a tiny bit of olive oil. I added some seasonings for effect.

The instructions were to bake them for two hours, and check them every 15 minutes after that.

I eagerly started them at about 7 o’clock on a Sunday night. My husband was also interested and even offered to buy me a dehydrator.

I told him I wouldn’t need one because this was a quick process.

At 9 o’clock I checked them. Still totally soft.

At 10 o’clock I checked them. Almost totally soft. 

At 11 o’clock … well, you get the idea.

At midnight I gave up.

And again the next day…

I started over the next day. They finally did dry, but it was more like 10 hours. They smelled good, I must admit.

Later, I searched online for more directions, and most of those said 10 to 12 hours.

The whole process required little effort on my part. Was it worth it? Maybe.

Here’s what I learned. If you’re going to try something you know nothing about, search for several sets of directions. Make sure one of them is from a trusted source such as the Penn State Extension.

For example, here’s a blog on drying pears and apples. I could make my own trail mix.

Or I could make my own fruit rollup.

Hey, maybe I’ll try it… No, better not. I have to be at work in the morning.

 

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