My cousin, Sam who now lives in Minneapolis recently told me about her horror story of trying to dry food outdoors in her backyard this summer. It was quite the story and I just couldn’t tell her that I recently purchased a heavy duty stainless steel food dehydrator with 10 stainless steel shelves, didn’t feel that was what she needed to hear this week. I hadn’t tested it out yet too, so I had no clue whether it functioned properly, was even worth talking about.

I started thinking of purchasing a food dehydrator after a nostalgic conversation with my friend, Jeanne, we were craving green papaya salad with sticky rice and some fried Laotion beef jerky, that’s gotta be one of our all time favorite meals. I knew drying food outdoors in the sun would be problematic here, the sunny dry heat is great but the ants out in full force looking for food, not so much and I also didn’t feel too great about the cheaper plastic food dehydrators in the stores, heating plastic, I’ll pass. And so I settled on the stainless steel TSM Food Dehydrator I won on Ebay for 40% cheaper than retail and I’ve been in full dehydrating mode all week. The mangos at Costco and the Asian supermarkets are really good right now and the Northwest cherries and organic cameo apples were on sale too at Henry’s last week so I successfully dehydrated all three. I got a thumbs up from everyone who tried them, it’s a great investment. The benefits of eating raw are well known and you just can’t go wrong with this purchase when you know vital and essential nutrients that we need to stay healthy aren’t being destroyed when eaten raw or cooked slowly at a temperature under 118 degrees F. I can’t wait to make Laotion dried beef jerky with a grass fed beef roast from the store, I’ll be calling my mom for the recipe.

I always get bugged for choosing to prep my food sitting cross legged on the floor with my weaved rattan-like raised eating trays and stools that I bring back with me from my trips to Laos. Sitting and prepping on the ground reminds me of my mom and her outdoor kitchen near her charcoal burning low stove, sitting low means she can easily check on what’s cooking over the heat as well.

I store the dried fruit in my clear Takeya BPA free Acraglass containers. Japanese-inspired designs with the best twist top airtight pouring lids, so light and comfortable to lug around and the seal is so tight and for liquids it never leaks, I love ’em.


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