The garden is absolutely overflowing with green beans. Last night I found a large handful of them in my purse. I’d forgotten that I’d put them in there the night before. I had hurriedly picked as many almost-overgrown ones as I could when I got home in the evening on my way into the house, and it was the only bag that I had handy. Adding that handful to the enormous bag of beans already in the fridge, I decided last night that I could at least try to take care of some of them quickly with the dehydrator. Official recommendations for dehydrating vegetables say that you should blanch the vegetables first, and indeed, blanching first does improve the color and texture, and it’s the way to go if you have the time. But, I have often dehydrated veggies without blanching with good results. And, of note to those of us in a chronic time crunch, if you skip the blanching part, dehydrating requires the least amount of active, hands-on time of the various preserving options suitable for green beans. The drying part itself is slow, but you don’t need to do much during that time other than check on the drying items from time to time, so it’s great when you’re busy. And let’s face it–at 9 o’clock at night, staring at this enormous bag of rapidly aging and slightly overgrown green beans in my fridge (that grows bigger daily, I might add) I didn’t have the luxury to seek perfection. When it comes to beans, I’m finding myself these days in more of a minimizing casualties sort of mode, I suppose you could say (ie how many beans can I manage to eat fresh or preserve before they get so old I need to compost them?) Like it or not, when it comes to putting up the beans, safety and functionality are where it’s at for me right now.
I grabbed my dehydrator out of the basement only to discover that I had not, apparently, cleaned it as well as I should have after the last time I used it. Oops. It needed more than just a little scrubbing–it needed to sit in some hot soapy water for a while. And, unfortunately, my dehydrator trays have never fit very well in our sink. So, it was off to the tub for a good soak. The boys were in need of a bath too, but it looked like would have to wait until the next day.