Monday, September 16, 2013


It's a cool Monday morning here in Hickery Holler! The nip of fall is indeed in the air and we enjoyed sleeping under an open window again last night.  I guess It is time to dig out those sweaters and wool socks because it won't be long until they are needed. We continue to can, dehydrate and preserve the garden blessings. 

Those peppers are beautiful and will make such wonderful additions to my winter dishes. This California Wonder variety has done exceedingly well again this year and seeds are drying for next year.  

Some are diced and then vacuum sealed in small packages to be frozen. Ready to be taken out and thrown into some hot olive oil and sauteed for that favorite pasta sauce.   

Some are dehydrated and put into a ziploc bag. Once I have completed all that I am going to dehydrate they will be put into small jelly jars and an oxygen absorber added to each jar and then sealed with my vacuum sealer jar attachment. Dehydrating these ripe peppers just seems to concentrate the sugars and make them that much sweeter.

I have gotten several emails and questions on dehydrating melon. If you slice your melon thick, about half an inch and put it on your trays and leave it in the dehydrator for about 24 hours

It dehydrates down to almost nothing. 

Making little discs of intense watermelon flavor, almost crunchy they melt into your mouth and taste almost like watermelon Jolly Ranchers : )

Craving a piece of candy on a cold winter day these are just enough to satisfy that sugar fix. And the grandkids will eat their weight in them if you turn your back : )

Cantaloupe on the other hand it gives almost a smoky sweet flavor.

Stored in jars and sealed again with an oxygen absorber and my Foodsaver attachment these are wonderful snacks until the next cantaloupe season. 

Tip*****got an email recently about their lids coming open after sealing or not sealing. Try heating dry lids on a warm heating pad and then using ******

Like smoothies? Try freezing cantaloupe and then in the morning throw some frozen cantaloupe, honey and Greek yogurt in a blender. MMmmmmmm!

My daughter freezes watermelon strips and she has a pacifier looking thing that has a cloth/nylon  mesh end. She takes that frozen watermelon/cantaloupe and puts in that pacifier thingy for the baby to suck on and relieve his teething pains. Heads up to all you young mamas out there. 

Don't forget those Watermelon Rind Pickles. You can find a tutorial links below

All of these are wonderful things to do with that patch of melons still out there and winter just around the corner.  

Got lots of potatoes left out there and no room to store them. They dehydrate wonderfully! 

Slices for those Au gratin Potatoes or to fry in a pan. 

Heres a link on using those dehydrated hash browns

Same with onions

Apples hanging from the tree in the back yard? 

Try this apple fritter recipe but I warn you they are addictive!

Or maybe fried apple pies are more your speed?

You can find the recipe below

Make your own apple pie filling and you can have them whenever the mood strikes you!

And those apples make great apple chips too!

Now that I have given you all these ideas I am off to do my own work.

As for me I dug carrots and have a load to get in the dehydrator...

And another load of tomatoes to get in the roaster!

Hope everyone has a productive week.

Blessings from The Holler

The Canned Quilter


  1. Yum! It all looks great!

    I pulled veggie scraps and a hambone out of the freezer for stock and then used that in canned lentil soup today.

    Then I pulled the 7 quart bags of cranberries out of the freezer and ended up with 10 pints of cranberry sauce.

  2. Wow what a blessing to be justly rewarded for such hard work! Everything looks soo good!

  3. This post came at the perfect time. I just bought a Excalibur dehydrator a couple of weeks ago and am ready to use it this week.

    Just a question though, when you do your onions, do you line your trays with parchment paper or do you just put them straight on the trays as is?

    1. If you chop your onions really small then you need to use parchment paper or they will fall through. (remember they shrink)If you chop them bigger then it is not necessary. I like to use paper!

  4. I'm just getting to know my Excalibur and I'm curious about the oxygen absorbers... Do you reuse them?

  5. Very cool on dehydrating the watermelon. I've got one sitting there just waiting for me to do something with it.. I do believe I've found my answer..
    Im going to share your post with my daughter too... she has a 5 month old who I bet would love frozen watermelon in that passy thingamajig..

  6. Can you tell us more about your vacume sealer??

  7. I love your posts and "how to's". I look forward to them every day. As usual you have inspired me to get my dehydrator out and dehydrate me up a bunch of watermelon and cantaloupe while they are still around. Many thanks!!!

  8. Can you please tell me how you season your spaghetti sauce? I am making tomato sauce for the first time as we have had an abundance of tomatoes this year. After cooking them down and blending them I am freezing unseasoned except for a little lemon juice for color. When I thaw I need a foolproof seasoning and I have learned soooo much from you and although there are a million recipes out there, I would like one from someone I know and trust! Thank you so much for all you do on your blog!

  9. What a fabulous post. I especially like your recipe for apple pie filling. I've never seen clear jell, can you suggest an alternative?

  10. I posted a question the other day, I thought, but it doesn't appear. Where do you get your oxygen absorbers?

  11. I discovered your site about 6 months ago and enjoy reading it almost daily. I have tried many of your recipes and canning teachings. Thank you for sharing yourself and your vast wealth of knowledge on so many subjects. Please don't stop.


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