"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Pumpkin matters


Rugby rules in this house again, so I have the time (and power) to blog - God bless Saturday afternoons LOL

In South Africa a popular method of storing summer pumpkins is on a (low) roof to harden them off for use them during the winter months. Unfortunately, at it's lowest point, our roof is in excess of 3.0 mtrs above the ground, and at angle of 45°, that is not a solution for me.

I also have limited freezer space (below my fridge), and ditto limited storage space for canned / preserved goods.  So I had to come up with another solution.

And I have.

I peeled the entire pumpkin we were having with our dinner, removed the stringy bits...
Prepared pumpkin
...placed the skin in my worm farm, and put the seeds to one side for use next summer.
Pumpkin peels to feel the worms, and pumpkin seeds
left to dry so that I can plant them next summer :)
The remainder of the pumpkin which we didn't have with our dinner and which I wanted to preserve was weighed - 981 gms.
981 gms of fresh pumpkin
The slices were approximately 1 cm thick and I carefully arranged them on my (cake) rack so that they fitted below the stainless steel food cover.
Protecting my pumpkin pieces
To ensure that flies nothing found it's way onto the pumpkin, I draped a lacy food net over the stainless steel one, and tucked it underneath the rack.
Seriously protecting my pumpkin pieces - I
probably went overboard, but rather safe than
sorry :)
Then I put the pumpkin on the rack on the front patio table - now that winter is on it's way, the sun is falling perfectly on the table for this experiment.
The early morning sun is just beginning to touch
the table. I reckon that the protective black cover
on the table helped the process
This is what they looked like after one day
Day 1 of the dehydrating process
And this is at the end of Day 2
Day 2
Three days later they were perfectly dehydrated.  981gms became 86 grams! A perfect solution for storing the pieces of the 8 pumpkins I have in a large recycled mayonnaise bottle - and just think how much shelf space is saved.
All it took was 3 days to perfectly dehydrate the
pumpkin slices
But - I couldn't resist.  Would they rehydrate properly?  So, you guessed it, a piece went into a small bowl of water, and this is what it looked like the next morning...
I'm happy with the rehydrated pumpkin piece
I reckon that was a successful experiment.

And a perfect experiment to encourage RMan to use the wood we purchased and make me that dratted solar dryer for next summer... ;)

4 comments:

  1. Love it! I tested re-hydrated carrots (although dried w/electricity) recently & was equally happy.

    I want to try sun drying but it has to be the perfect conditions (aka NO humidity) & we only get a couple of days a year for that. But I'm still game to try.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DFW - Pumpkin, carrots, tomatoes - so much is possible. And it uses so less storage space :)

      Carrots - hmmm, gotta try that too... LOL

      Delete
  2. Ooh, I must try this. When the rain disappears!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robyn - It'll certainly be a way to preserve ALL those pumpkins you grew :)

      Delete

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