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Best Christmas present.. kind of garden related.

SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,570
Well I had been using my grandmothers 30 year old dehydrator and it finally gave up the ghost this year, I did do some pears in the oven, but it's very slow and I can't get much in there as I only have 1 oven rack. So when Santa brought me a nice new shiny dehydrator it was most certainly the best present.  Both the new and the old one use 1kw so both are a bit power hungry and I certainly have to watch the hour price on the electric before turning it on, but it should save more than it uses.
It turned an entire crown prince squash weighing 5kg into one and a bit 400ml jars of squash powder in a little over 10 hours.
This model might be a bit big for some, it's sitting on a standard domestic cooker, and it does weigh in at 22kg but it will dry 6kg at a time which is a good amount and means I might not end up throwing away so many pears and apples!

I dry a lot of vegetables all cut up small and use them as a soup mix or to add to instant noodles and make them slightly less junk foodie, if that's possible. I love dried fruit but I will just sit there and eat it in a couple of weeks.

So what kind of garden related things (can be a tenuous link) did other people get or buy for themselves?
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  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 3,007
    That's a cracker @Skandi. A Rolls Royce of a dehydrator. Lucky you. I looked at a much smaller one to buy for a present to myself but wondered if I could justify one just for drying ceps. 

    My daughter bought me a Felco pruning saw for Christmas so I'm looking forward to using it. By heck it looks lethal though. 

  • I have also bought myself an air fryer/oven for Christmas. I haven't used it yet, looking forward to experimenting. It has a rotisserie and dehydrator setting on it Looked in the instruction book and see the dehydrator takes about 8 hours, it will be useful to dry my surplus apples instead of freezing them.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,175
    A ball of twine.  You can never have too much twine.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 10,293
    That looks like an amazing machine @Skandi - hope you get lots of use out of it.  Really interested to hear that you check the hourly electricity price before you turn it on - Denmark must be way ahead of the UK in the sophistication of its power pricing.
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 3,007
    pansyface said:
    A ball of twine.  You can never have too much twine.
    Quite so @pansyface. I have a thing about twine, never waste any if I can help it. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,902
    Twine is always useful. The girls get it for me for M's Day or birthdays. I love watching the blue tits take bits for their nests. 
    None of the 'presents' I gave for Christmas were garden related. All donations to charity instead, and the girls were asked to do the same instead of getting me stuff. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,850
    pansyface said:
    A ball of twine.  You can never have too much twine.
    Very true - as the old saying goes - 'A world without string is chaos!' :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,570
    edited 3 January
    chicky said:
    That looks like an amazing machine @Skandi - hope you get lots of use out of it.  Really interested to hear that you check the hourly electricity price before you turn it on - Denmark must be way ahead of the UK in the sophistication of its power pricing.

    Very cheap electricity at the moment, it was up to 9DKK (just over £1) before christmas at the prices above the dehydrator can run.. shame I have nothing to dry right now.

    Yes string is always useful I bought 6 huge rolls on a very good discount a few years ago, I think it was 60km of string. I still have 4 untouched!

  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,850
    Skandi said:

    It turned an entire crown prince squash weighing 5kg into one and a bit 400ml jars of squash powder in a little over 10 hours.
    Looks like a fab bit of kit @Skandi

    I'd be fascinated to know what you use squash powder for?

    I tend to freeze stuff. My ovens both have drying capabilities, but I've never thought of drying fruit/veg.
    Is there a website you could recommend?  I'd like to learn more.

    Thanks

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,570
    edited 3 January
    Pete.8 said:
    Skandi said:

    It turned an entire crown prince squash weighing 5kg into one and a bit 400ml jars of squash powder in a little over 10 hours.
    Looks like a fab bit of kit @Skandi

    I'd be fascinated to know what you use squash powder for?

    I tend to freeze stuff. My ovens both have drying capabilities, but I've never thought of drying fruit/veg.
    Is there a website you could recommend?  I'd like to learn more.

    Thanks


    Because I always end up with way to much winter squash I hide it in things. I turn it into mashed squash and then add it to bread, gnocchi things like that. I also use it in curries as a replacement for cream.. yes it sounds strange but it works, it gives the same silky texture and rounded flavour. The powder can just be used instead of fresh mashed squash.
    I freeze most things, but right now I don't have any freezer space. I don't have any websites I'm afraid, the problem is there's to many variables, these last batches I did took 10 hours at 50C but timings are dependent on so much, even how damp your house is/isn't. I will say don't bother with grapes, yes you get raisins but it takes over a day!
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