Sunday, August 10, 2008

A First for Everything

Another first. I dried some zucchini with my dehydrator. I would like to try experiment with a few other vegetables such as green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Anyone have any advice, do you or have you dried vegetables. What was your process and how did you utilize your goods. As you hear lots about sun dried tomatoes I'd have to say that is where most of my interest is.
First year growing garlic. We have about 3 times the above and it is amazing. How do you all store it? And the trick to braiding it? I read up on it a bit but still didn't quite get it.

Farm stand update: We made $61 our first week. Doesn't sound like much but it is a start. What we've observed so far. Best sellers, corn, tomatoes, eggs, and cukes. Zucchini, garlic, and yellow squash we've sold very little of.

I will end this post with a recipe for some kick a@! cake I made John for his birthday. He requested chocolate cake with PB frosting and that is what he got. Homemade at that, in previous years it would have come straight from the box with a jar of frosting. You do what you see. I do not ever remember my Mom making cake from scratch so why would I?
We started eating this at 5:30 am and it was gone by 8 that night. We celebrate John's b-day early before I headed to work. I usually do not over eat but I did with this cake. A must make for anyones upcoming b-day!

The Perfect Present Buttermilk Chocolate Cake Recipe
2 Cups Flour
  1. Chocolate Recipe - Hershey's Cocoa image
    Preheat Oven to 300° F
    (This is not a typo! This is a slow bake chocolate cake recipe.)
  2. Use Crisco Shortening to lightly grease and flour the
    9 x 13 in. Baking Dish. (It's a one layer chocolate cake!)
  3. Place all the ingredients on the left into a mixing bowl.
  4. Mix at medium or medium high speed until all ingredients are blended and smooth.
  5. Pour into greased and floured baking dish
  6. Bake for 1 hr.
  7. Test by sticking with knife. If it comes out clean, it's done!
  8. Allow to cool.
Scroll down this page for the simple Recommended White Vanilla Icing...
2 Cups Sugar
¾ Cup Hershey's Cocoa
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Eggs (I use large eggs)
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Buttermilk

Remember that you can freeze buttermilk so you have to make another buttermilk chocolate cake recipe.

1 Cup Mazola Oil
1 ½ Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Boiling Water

borrowed from:

(I cooked it for 50minutes and it came out perfect, my stove seems to over cook a bit)



  1. Cream butter and peanut butter together.
  2. Add half the powdered sugar and blend.
  3. Blend in milk and vanilla.
  4. Add remaining powdered sugar.
  5. Stir until smooth and well blended.
frosting recipe borrowed from


Akprestons said...

hi there! I don't know that I've ever been to your blog before, but I must say, I just love it! :)

And when I was younger, our family used a dehydrator for all sorts of things. I remember apples being one of our family's favorite things to dry. You could use them in recipes, throw them in oatmeal or cereal, or just snack on them throughout the day!

And I love that you had so much luck with your garlic! Next summer we plan to landscape our back yard and incorporate a couple of little raised garden beds for me. I can't wait! :)


Anonymous said...

We save onion bags and just store our garlic in those. I never bothered with braiding the stalks. They bags hang from the ceiling in our pantry.

We dry peppers, both hot and sweet and they are great in chili, soups, etc. I always slice them in rings as my experiences with whole hot peppers has been mixed at best. We dry yellow squash too and I love to eat it like potato ships. They are so sweet when dried!

Anonymous said...

Potato chips...not ships! Argh!

Anonymous said...

Get to drying girl!!! Dry it all!!!!!!! ;) I enjoy drying my own paprika peppers and then grinding them with my mortar and pestle into my own paprika. I also store my garlic in the pantry in the basement. And in the spring, when it starts to get green shoots, I dry the cloves and then grind them into my own powder. Tomatoes are wonderful, I use my own dried tomatoes in all those recipes that call for sundried tomatoes. I also like to dry my how peppers for "red pepper flakes" substitute that'll knock your socks off!! ;) Also, while freezing cut peppers and onions is easy and a nice time saver.....they flavor your freezer something awful. I prefer to dry.

Erica said...

I dehydrate rhubarb, onions, peppers and so forth. Never thought of doing zucchini! Are you going to through it in a lasagna or something?

The cake sounds yummy too, I agree about the homemade thing. This year my goal was to cut out everything like that and I've been making homemade birthday cakes. They are SO much better.

And I think $61 is a great start!! Good for you, I would surely buy some garlic if I was closer :)

YD, sometimes with ♥June and ♥Angel Samantha said...

That would be my kind of cake! I will have to print it out and request it for my birthday! Who cares if my husband doesn't like PB. What's wrong with him not liking PB?
Can't help you with storing garlic. I have never planted any before.

Danni said...

Oh my...where to begin?
Dried will you eat it? Just like dried fruit? I *love* plants are still wee small, though!
Your garlic is gorgeous - I've always wanted to try growing it, but just didn't get to it this year of my beginners "test" garden. Maybe next year.
That cake recipe sounds wonderful and I adore baking with buttermilk. I had absolutely *no* idea one could freeze it! Do you freeze it in plastic or glass? Doesn't it separate upon thawing?
Great post...I love posts where I have questions at the end!!
p.s. Happy Birthday, John! :-)

Country Girl said...

Jessica, thanks now I'll be over to visit yours! Apples that is a great idea, I think I'll try!

Warren, onion bags, great idea. This is why I like blogging, I learn so much and get so many great ideas from others that have already
been there and done that! On the yellow squash about how long. Even with the zucchini it never seems to get dry enough...maybe my slices are too think or dry time not long enough.

Farm Mom, you truly are amazing!!!
I never would have thought to do any of that stuff you do. With the tomatoes do you "sun dry" them or use a dehydrator. Do you put a lot up or just a little?

Erica, rhubarb is a great idea. I have a little left maybe I'll try that. And I agree homemade is better. It has taken me 30 + years to figure it out but better now than never.

YD, I'm telling you that cake was unbelievable! Hubby doesn't like peanut butter. I have never meet someone that didn't like PB.

Farm girl, you plant garlic in the fall and mulch well... so there is still time!!!! The section about freezing was just part of the recipe I cut & pasted in, I have never froze it. And to freeze things I use plastic and I am starting to use glass. I did not have any buttermilk on hand so I made it by adding 1 Tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of milk and you let stand for 5 minutes - Viola there you have buttermilk per Betty Crocker that is.

Paula said...

Mmmmmm the cake sounds DANGEROUSLY good! I could not be left alone with that for long. LOL
That's neat about drying the zuchinni, Kim... I've never thought of that. I have a drying rack for jerky that goes in a regular oven, and I dried some apples on them a couple of weeks ago.

Anonymous said...

Well, the amt differs year to year, according to what I have on hand. usually after a few weeks of sauce making, I'm sick of it and I start drying some slices with the dehydrator and I start oven-roasting (and then freezing those....I got the recipe from Debra Madison's Local Flovors and the idea to freeze from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.)I think I had 3-4 gallon bags full of dried tomatoes last year.

Akprestons said...

Yes! Please DO let us know if you ever come to Alaska! we have a guest room!! :):)

thanks for the comment! I loved hearing from you!

love jessica

citygirl said...

Chocolate cake with PB frosting is one of my absolute favorites! Can I put a request in for my birthday?

I would love to make some sun dried tomatoes to store and use in recipes...I wish I had more knowledge to share here, but, alas, I do not.

Have you made any more bread yet? I have plenty of experience there!

That is awesome about your farm stand revenue! Are you having an easier time keeping track of it with it in its new location?

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of dried zucchini before this very moment. Neat!!!

I want some!!!

I'll trade you some soap for some dried zucchini!!

I'm glad that you like the new blog. I'm sorry that it's hard to navigate. We're continuing to work on it and make changes. Promise!


Country Girl said...

Farm Chick Paula,
Drying apples, good idea! I will try this fall!
Farm Mom, never thought about referring back to animal, vegetable, miracle. I borrowed the book but there is a web site.
Jessica, I will so get in contact when we ever make it to Alaska.
City Girl, when is your birthday??November. Your on, I'll make it for you. Let me know how you preserve your hubbard squash.
We are having no issues since our relocation.
Lacy, I am missing you in blog world. Is there a way to link to your new posts from your home page?
You on, I'll send you dried zuchiini for soap. I will get on your blog and e-mail you my e-mail and home address.