Thursday, 17 August 2017

Not good drying weather!

When I harvested my onions the other day I had every intention of drying them in the sun. The sun however had other ideas! For the first few days I dutifully laid out the onions on a groundsheet each morning - but then found myself having to rush out and rescue them from rain several times a day. I soon got fed up with that and decided it would be more sensible to dry them in the garage. I therefore rigged up a low-tech drying-rack using some of the ubiquitous wire shelves from my mini-greenhouses. (They have so many uses!)

The wire shelves are balanced on top of some empty flower-pots, so the onions are exposed to air on all sides.

There are only 8 of the "Sturon" brown onions left, because we have eaten all the others (14 of them). I had never intended to keep them for long-term storage. They were lovely onions - very crisp and firm - and very strongly-flavoured too.

I still have about 30 of the "Long Red Florence" onions though. They are in my opinion 'gourmet veg', and thus not for everyday use. We will use them in dishes where their qualities can be fully appreciated!

Back in the Spring, when I planted my onion sets, I put a few of them into a couple of vacant pots, aiming to use their leaves as a Spring Onion substitute, cutting them repeatedly.

In this role they didn't perform as well as I had hoped and I think we only used two lots of leaves. Due to the restricted space available to them, they haven't grown big either. Today I have pulled them up, and plan to use them in a sort of Boeuf Bourguinon-style casserole dish, in which they should be just right.

Since my post today is essentially about drying, let me end by mentioning that today I have been making another batch of semi-dried cherry tomatoes, using my dehydrator.

If you're interested in such things, my dehydrator came from Lakeland, priced today at £52.99. It is very basic (e.g. the only controls are an On / Off switch), but it does the job well enough.

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