The adorable, always humorous MBA Jane is my way of honoring our Sisterhood Merit Badge program, now with 5,892 dues-paying members who have earned an amazing number of merit badges so far—8,416 total! Take it away, MBA Jane!!! MJ
Wondering who I am? I’m Merit Badge Awardee Jane (MBA Jane for short). In my former life …
For this week’s Farm Kitchen/Self-Sufficiency Expert Level Merit Badge, I was really, really enjoying my food dehydrator. I mean, I was in love with the little miracle maker. My tummy full of yesterday’s beef jerky, I moved on to some vegetarian options. Pineapple, “sun”-dried tomatoes, apples, banana chips, peas, and plums. Mm! And don’t forget mangoes, papayas, peaches, and kiwis. Dry your own teas, make your own soup mix, gosh! The possibilities are keeping me up at night with hunger pangs (or they would be, if I hadn’t stashed some dried nectarines in my nightstand).
P.S. Don’t have a food dehydrator? You can try setting your oven to a low temperature. But some ovens don’t go low enough.
Here are some of my favorite recipes:
Homemade Dried Onion Soup Mix (although I usually use it for other things besides soup: casseroles, sprinkled atop steamed veggies, in meatloaf or burgers, or as a base for other soups)
- 8 t dried onion flakes (why, dry your own, of course!)
- 1 1/2 t dried parsley (again … do I even need to say it?
- 1 t onion powder, and turmeric
- 1/2 t each celery seed, sugar, salt, and pepper
Store in a Mason jar or Ziploc bag.
Citrus Mint and Licorice Tea
- Zest of 2 lemons and 2 oranges (remove with veggie peeler, then chop)
- one 3-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 1/2 small fennel bulb (can substitute whole star anise, but if you do, add the anise in at the last step)
- 1 cup tightly packed mint leaves
- 1 cup dried cranberries or apricots
Dry your zests, ginger, and fennel until dried. Dry the mint as well (you can put them in together, but the mint will be ready the quickest). Crumble the mint when cool enough to handle and steep with hot water (about 2 T per 1 cup water).
Homemade Wasabi Peas
- one package frozen (defrosted) or fresh peas, dried nearly completely (let them be a little chewy still—we aren’t done drying them yet
- 2 T white rice vinegar
- 4-5 T wasabi powder
- 1 t mustard powder
Toss the nearly done peas with the mixture above. Return to dryer and finish drying. Eat alone as a spicy, yummy snack or add to your own Gorp mix, trail mix, or popcorn.
Chocolate-covered Dried Fruit
- assorted dried fruits that go well with chocolate (Is this an oxymoron, Jane, my girl? Doesn’t EVERYTHING go well with chocolate?)
- dipping chocolate (dark, milk, white—whatever floats your boat)
Dip cooled fruits in warm chocolate. Let dry (if you can you have more willpower than I) on wax paper. These are most excellent for gifts. Like, a gift to me from me. Happy Tuesday, Jane … you know, those kind of gifts. The best kinds.