Drying time

Summer is sun-drying time; the time when I haul out the drying frames from under the house, dust them off and fill them with goodies to preserve.

It’s easy to make a few drying frames. Some cheap pine timber (42 x 19 mm is a good size) and a roll of flywire mesh will do it. Use the metal mesh as it’s more rigid; the plastic stuff will soften in the sun and the food will flop all over the place. You’ll need a pair of frames—one to hold the produce and one to put over the top to keep out bugs and sticky-beaking birds.

Those good hot days when the temperature climbs into the 30’s are ideal. Be wary of sudden cool snaps (remember what they say about Melbourne—4 seasons in one day) and check the food for mould growth. Finishing off in a slightly warm oven might be necessary.

Here’s a selection of cherry tomatoes drying:


I also dry herbs, especially those that die off through the winter and this year I’m drying purple amaranth leaves for adding to winter soups and casseroles.

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