Hubby: “Is this going to make things easier? I mean really, is it necessary to store them this way?”[sg_popup id=”1″ event=”onload”][/sg_popup]
Dee Dee: “Of course it is. What if I’m pressed for time because I have to quickly make a huge meal for your sister’s entire family who pops in on us unexpectedly?”
Hubby: “Could that happen?”
Dee Dee: “That’s beside the point. It would be a good thing to have food stored for an emergency. What if something terrible happens to the garden and I can’t grow any veggies for a long time? What if Monsanto taints the farm and we can’t grow organically for years to come?”
Hubby: “So you’re doing this because of the one in a billion chance that Monsanto will appear on our street?”
Dee Dee: “And… I’m doing it for us. Everything I do, I do it for you.”
Hubby: “That’s a Bryan Adams song.”
Dee Dee: “WILL YOU PLEASE LET ME GET BACK TO DEHYDRATING?!”
(shrugs) Who says my idea won’t make life easier? (folds arms) And Betty Crocker seems to think so too. (puts hand on hip, waves finger in the air) I am dehydrating potatoes and putting together a “just add water” side dish that will be an easy weeknight helper and be much healthier for us. Okay..?! (looks around to see that no one is listening) Humph!
Thinly slice the potatoes. (While you’re slicing potatoes, boil a large pot of water.) I took the easy way out and used the Cuisinart. If slicing by hand, try to keep them thin and evenly sliced. I just kept on slicing ’em up until I realized I would run out of mason jars to store it all if I didn’t stop. As you’re slicing, remember to keep a bowl of water handy; keeping the potatoes submerged so they don’t brown.
Blanch the potatoes. Using a strainer (or colander or anything that will fit into your pot and can be easily lifted out) fill it with a couple of handfuls of sliced potatoes at a time. Submerge the potatoes into the boiling water and keep them submerged for 3-5 minutes*, then drain. Immediately add them to your dehydrator.
You don’t have to place the potatoes into a carefully laid out single layer if you don’t want to. Do it only if you need to keep the pieces completely separate for some reason. But I find that even if they overlap a bit, they will dry out just fine and still work in casseroles, crock pot meals and more. Just break them up a bit.
If you like, use a piece of parchment paper because they’ll sometimes stick to the tray. Dehydrate at 125 degrees (or lower) for 6-12 hours. Think, low and slow. And this all depends on how many trays you’ve added, how many potatoes per tray, etc.
These are great when you’re in a hurry. And we’re also talking about another way to store food. Yes, that’s it. Very necessary. (flips hair) Here’s another way to store them:
Scalloped Potato Mix
3 cups dehydrated potatoes
3/4 cup powdered milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch**
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Add all ingredients to an air-tight container. Label and store in a cool, dry place. So let’s use them already!
1 scalloped potato mix
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 tablespoons butter
Serves 6 (unless you’re in this family which changes it to 4)
Add your mix to a 4-6 cup baking dish and spread it out evenly. Add the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Afterwards, mix it around a bit*** and spread it back out evenly.
Cut up the butter into small pieces and top the casserole. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. (Test it at 50 minutes since no two ovens are alike.)
The hubby ate this before I could take a better picture. He now helps with the dehydrating. Snap.
Tip: Got a big family? The mix can easily be doubled or more.
*Tip: The reason for blanching them is so they don’t turn dark. Yeah, you can still eat them, but who wants black spots on their potatoes?
**Tip: Leave the cornstarch out if you plan to store the mix for longer than 6 months. Just add it at the time you make the scalloped potatoes.
***Tip: If you want to go Au gratin, now’s the time to add your cheese. About 1 cup shredded cheddar (or whatever you like) should do it. Add a bit more to the top if you like and uncover the last few minutes to brown.