STORAGE FOR DRIED PRODUCTS
Of importance equal to proper Drying is the proper storage
of the finished product. With the scarcity of tins and the high prices of
glass jars it is recommended that other containers be used. Those easily
available are baking-powder cans and similar covered tins, pasteboard boxes
having tight-fitting covers, strong paper bags, and patented paraffin paper
boxes, which may be bought in quantities at comparatively low cost.
Fig. 18. Vegetable and fruit slicer.
A paraffin container of the type used by oyster dealers for the
delivery of oysters will be found inexpensive and easily handled. If using
this, or a baking-powder can or similar container, after filling adjust the
cover closely. For storage on a larger scale use closely built wooden boxes
with well-fitted lids. Line each box with paraffin paper in several layers.
The paper should cover the top of the contents.
It is essential that the container should exclude light and insects
but it should not be air-tight.. Products stored in air-tight containers
suffer damage through moisture which escapes from the product and condenses
in the package.
If a paper bag is used, the top should be twisted, doubled over and
tied with a string. Another good precaution is to store bags within an
ordinary lard pail or can or other tin vessel having a fairly close-fitting
Fig. 19. Slicing corn.
The products should be stored in a warm, dry place, well ventilated
and protected from rats, mice and insects. An attic or upstairs-room which
is warmed by pipes or flues passing through makes a very satisfactory place.
Shelves near a furnace also make a suitable storage place.
In sections where the air is very moist, especial care must be
used. The containers should be opened occasionally and if any moisture has
been taken up the contents should be placed in the oven until dry.
It is good practice to use small containers so that it may
not be necessary to leave the contents exposed long after opening before
For convenience label all packages.
Before storing products prepared by sun drying, artificial heat
must be applied to destroy possible insect eggs. To do this place the
products in the oven, spread in thin layers, and allow them to remain until
the temperature reaches 180° F. as indicated by
a thermometer inside partially open oven.
Fig. 20. Arranging vegetables or fruits on trays.
WINTER USE OF PRODUCTS
In preparing dried
vegetables and fruits for use the first process is to restore the water
which has been dried out of them. All dried foods require soaking. After
soaking the dried products will have a better flavor if cooked in a covered
utensil at a low temperature for a long time. Dried products should be
prepared and served as fresh products are prepared and served. They should
be cooked in the water in which they have been soaked, as this utilizes all
of the mineral salts, which would otherwise be wasted.
There can be no definite rule for the amount of water required for
soaking dried products when they are to be used, as the quantity of water
evaporated in the drying process varies with different vegetables and
fruits. As a general rule from 3 to 4 cups of water will be required for 1
cup of dried material.
In preparing for use, peas, beans, spinach and like vegetables
should be boiled in water to which there has been added soda in a proportion
of 1/8 teaspoonful of soda to 1 quart of water. This improves the color.
In preparing to serve dried vegetables season them carefully. For
this purpose celery, mustard, onion, cheese and nutmeg give desirable
flavoring, according to taste.
From 3 to 4 quarts of vegetable soup may be made from 4 oz. of
dried soup vegetables.