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Toledo Farmers Market

September 5, 2014
By Dawn Troutner - Toledo Market Master , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Market Report for August 29. 2014

We had hoped the rain would have held off until about 6:30, but Mother Nature had other ideas. With the thunder all around us, we did start early. Some of the vendors had tents, some did not, but that didn't stop Kristi, Devin, Caryn, Darrold, Rod and Cindy, Chuck and Ginger, Dawn, Sheryl, Lois and Brenda, Veron and Wilma, Shirley and Michael, Shay Lynn, John, Nina, Joe and Barb, Will and Thea, and Red Earth Gardens from coming to market. It also didn't stop our customers from coming out with umbrellas or no umbrellas and purchasing from their favorite vendor.

This week at market was zucchini, tomatoes, sweet corn, watermelons, kohlrabi, onions, potatoes, kale, carrots, cabbage, egg plant, hot and sweet peppers, fresh herbs, dried herbs, eggs, jams, cucumbers, green beans, gourds, pumpkins, summer squash, and winter squash.

There were also pies, breads, cookies, Czech bakery, noodles, rosettes, popcorn, and pastries. There are about 8 weeks of market left. This gives you time to come out and visit your favorite vendor.

Canning is going strong. But have you thought about dehydrating your veggies or fruits? Most use a dehydrator, but there are other options such as an oven or dir drying.

In the winter the selection of fresh veggies isn't always that great. And with cold weather that means more soup to make. Dehydrating is a perfect way to preserve foods that are more easily stored. If you would eat a veggie raw, there is no need to cook the veggie before dehydrating. Just clean, cut, and spread in a shingle layer on the dehydrator trays. Veggies that you would normally cook before eating such as corn, peas, broccoli, and green beans will usually rehydrate better if you steam them for eight minutes before drying, but it is not always necessary.

When dehydrating veggies, humidity can play a role in the drying times. Here are a few you can dehydrate beans, beets, broccoli, butternut squash chips, carrots, carrots shredded, corn, cucumbers, edamame, egg plant, jalapeno, leeks, okra, onion, plums to make prunes, potato, sweet potato, sweet potato chips, swiss chard, tomato, tomato grapes, tomato paste, tomato powder, sun dried tomato, veggie chips, veggie powder or how about a mixed veggie bag. Of coarse there are many fruits you can dehydrate also. That is another article. But let's make some instant potato flakes.

Instant Potato Flakes, this will make about 1 pint. Take five potatoes, peeled and chopped, cover with just enough water to cover them. Over medium heat boil potatoes for 10-15 minutes or until soft. They should be the consistency to be ready to mash. Once potatoes are soft drain water, and mash potatoes until smooth. Do not add any milk, or seasonings. If you save the water you can make a yeast starter. Wild yeast naturally lives in potatoes, so a yeast starter can be made out of potato water. That is another article. Back to instant potato flakes.

Set potatoes on dehydrator fruit roll sheets or a parchment paper lined dehydrator tray. Dehydrate on 145 degrees F for 6 hours or until dry and all moisture is removed. Break the sheets into chunks, put in the blender, and pulse until ground into flakes. The finer the flake, the stickier the potatoes will be when you reconstitute them. Add to a glass jar or container and store in a cool, dry area for up to 6 months. To flavor soups, casseroles, and dishes add by the tablespoon until desired. For mashed potatoes add potato flakes to boiling water, and then remove from heat. Add additional ingredients such as cold milk, butter, salt, seasonings, and stir in reconstituted potato flakes. Example: 2 servings and two thirds cup water, one fourth teaspoon salt, one tablespoon butter, one fourth cup milk, and two thirds cup flakes.

See you at market.



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