Newspaper Archive of
Chester Progressive
Chester , California
September 7, 2011     Chester Progressive
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September 7, 2011

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8B Wednesday, Sept, 7, 2011 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter ' i Stacklngfunct ons, or back to the dashboard again COMMUNITY GR.EEN PAMELA NOEL dehydration-- but in a non-conventional manner. In this case I am using my car as a fruit and vegetable dehydrator. Last week I started with peaches and nectarines. Slicing them one-sixteenth of an inch thick I first put them on wax paper, placing it on a cookie sheet. Then I walked it to my car, which was hot from the sun. Cracking the moon roof and the rear windows an inch or so, I placed them on the dash- board at noon. At 4 p.m. I returned to the car, still in Cull sun, to check them. They were both dehy- drated and paper thin. I could barely distinguish them from the wax paper. They were stuck, married to the wax paper. Back to square one. This time I cut the fruit When is a car more than a car? When it can be used for something else, Using some: thing for more than one purpose is called "stacking functions" in permaculture parlance. A common example is a tree, which performs a variety of functions -- fruit, shade, beauty, absorption of carbon dioxide, the gift of oxygen and more. With my permaculture hat on, I have embarked on a "test run" for food preservation -- namely, UP V/SLJPERIOR STABILITY 146 wilk MirrorCutLlp 15x7 Machined &+Sliver 14x6 Professionally Trained Technicians Best Brake Warranty Premium Quality Parts FREE BRAKE INSPECTIONS Over 30 Years FREE ESTIMATES * SAME DAY SERVICE Experience (ON MOST VEHICLES) r SUSANVII.I.E 2385 Main St. 257-8883 1 OFFER GOOD THROUGH SEPTEMBER 3112011 one-quarter of an inch thick, spread a little olive oil (just a drop or two) on the cookie sheet, and put it back onto the dashboard. There were still about three hours of sun time left in the day, so I thought I would give it a head start, leave it in the car overnight, resuming the process the next morning. Not a good idea. All the moisture that had been re- moved by the sun re-entered the fruit with the night air. The next day, after another four hours, flipping the peaches once, I had beautiful dehydrated fruit. The next few days I dried apricots by cutting each into four slices. Pears were next. Wonderful! This was working. My excite- ment was growing for this project. Next I turned to the garden to see what surplus could be dried. As the zucchinis were out of control -- not only in numbers, but in size as well, I sliced them the size I would use in soups and put them in the car. Again, four to five hours and the deed was done. Beautiful zucchini slices to pop into my winter soups. I then turned my focus to carrots, thinking they might be more difficult. I sliced them both 0ne-eighth and one-quarter inch, but the one-eighth inch was more successful. I assume this was because of the lower moisture content. I had more ingredients for winter soups. During this time my brother was busy building a 6-foot-high dehydrator out of wood, dowels for the shelf rests, screen on top and bottom, screen shelves and Plexiglas for the fourth side that faced the sun. On his trial run he was able to dry carrots, but found he needed to keep moving the Plexiglas side around to face the sun, like a solar oven needs to be in a constant relationship to an ever-changing sun. This worked as long as he was nearby to adjust the sun's focus. As I have more I want to accomplish during the day, I prefer to use my car. While at work during the day, I used to look for a shady spot in the college parking lot. No longer. Now 1 look for the sunniest spot, which no one else wants. After driving to work, I place my baking sheets on the dashboard, and on both the front and back seats. It all works. Even more fun are the looks my car attracts from the students who waLk by. I came out one afternoon to find a culinary class gathered 'round my car, discussing my method. I stood back listening to the instructor say, "Keeps the insects off, you don't need to monitor it, free energy, and your car smells good." The best part of this discussion was when I heard some students say they wanted to try it. As I went back to my office I envisioned an entire parking lot of "dehydration on wheels," preparing fruit and vegetables for winter. Yes, I thought, this is what we call "stacking functions." Coming events toward a more sustainable community include: Sept. 21, Wild and Scenic Film Festival, Town Hall Theatre, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 22, Transition Quincy meeting, Community Room, Quincy Library, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 8, Sustainable Agricul- ture Workshop, fairgrounds in Quincy, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Food on the WHENYOU PURCHASE A SET OF 4 SELECT TIRES NO hassles, NO mailing, NO waiting! JUST... INSTANT SAVINGS! :,.; ....... , [SEE STORE FOR DETAILS] LIGHT TRUCK & SUV TIRES q/SMOOTH, OUIET RIDE SIDEWALL UGHT TRUCK & SUV CUSTOM WHEELS Slading N ~['Jl~~ Stadia, At IJ318 I06" KMC.XB 800 : gltra 194 Orifter :Gloss Marie Black 17x9 Black & Machined 15x8 f QUINCY I 116 East Main St. | 283-1450 J BASE Table: Toob Heather Hunsaker foodonthetable.corn We've all been guilty of get- ting sucked into infomercials featuring products claiming to .be the next new thing to save you time and money. Despite how nifty these "as seen on TV" kitchen gadgets look, most of them are expensive and unneces- sary. Usually, simple is best and more effective. Besides the basics -- a good sharp knife, durable pots and pans, cut- ting boards, mixing bowls and measuring cups -- there are a few other kitchen tools that are useful, versatile and affordable and can be a big help in the kitchen. Below are five kitchen tools that truly will save you time and money in the kitchen. Kitchen shears. A good pair of kitchen scissors will cut anything, from dough to chicken bones and lobster shells. Use scissors to quickly and easily "chop" fresh herbs or trim skin from poultry or fat from meat. Fine mesh strainer. From sifting flour and other dry ingredients together, to draining pasta and canned beans, to straining puddings and sauces into a smooth velvety masterpiece, this kitchen essential is ex- tremely versatile. Grater/zester. Grating your own cheese is cheaper than buying the prepackaged variety and freshly grated cheese melts better in dishes like macaroni and cheese. A good quality grater can also be used to grate garlic, onions (and other vegeta- bles), lemon or lime zest, fresh ginger or nutmeg and even chocolate to top a dessert. Ice cube trays. Not only can water be frozen in ice cube trays, but they come in handy for freezing other things as well. Use ice cube trays to freeze leftover broth, wine, pizza sauce, pesto or even homemade baby food for quick portion-controlled servings that can easily be added to soups and sauces. Food processor. Easily one of the more expensive kitchen gadgets, but an essential one nonetheless. A food processor is invaluable for pureeing sauces, grinding nuts and grains, chopping vegetables or even mixing up pie dough~ Looking for a time saving affordable dinner option that can double for breakfast or lunch too? Try this Ham and Cheese Quiche. Ham and Cheese Quiche Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Serves: 4 - S Ingredients: 1 pre-made frozen pie crust, thawed 1 cu p ham, diced 1 cu p Swiss cheese, grated 1 cu p cheddar cheese, grated 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed 3 large eggs 1/2 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon salt Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Unfold pie crust and press into pie plate. Using a fork, crimp edges of dough, Top dough with ham, Swiss and cheddar cheeses and spinach. Whisk eggs, sour cream, paprika, pepper and salt in bowl. Spoon egg mixture over toppings. Bake until pie crust is golden brown and toppings are set, about 2S minutes. Hunsaker graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culi- nary Arts. She currently serves as a writer and recipe developer for meal planning site