At around 3 a.m. something woke me up. I could hear the dehydrator running in the living area and had a strong urge to get out of bed to have a look at the food. Better judgement ruled; I rolled over and went back to sleep until 6 a.m., which is sleeping in at our house.
Checking on it this morning, the green peppers were definitely completely dried, except for two strips. The mushrooms were a little bit leathery at the top of the stems. The lemons were holding on to moisture in the fleshy portion of the fruit. I removed the peppers that were dried, cooled and stored them in a glass jar. The rest will continue in the dehydrator for today, we will see what happens.
I used the temperature setting recommended by the manufacturer. My reading online has alerted me that the temperature I used might have been too high, causing the outer surface of the slices to harden and prevent effective drying. The green pepper and the mushrooms fared well, both crispy and dry. The lemon slices had developed the hardened surface and did not dry properly. I took them out, scored the hardened surface, breaking it up to expose the moisture inside and put them back in the dehydrator. They need a lower temperature and perhaps should be sliced thinner than 1/4 inch.
The low temperature prediction for last night was way off, it dipped well below -20C. Based on the inaccurate prediction, yesterday we fired the masonry heater only twice. It wasn’t enough. Overnight the house chilled significantly. This morning the thermometer in the house reads 17C, which doesn’t sound that chilly. The thing is, that is the warmest spot in the house, near the masonry heater. The air a few feet away from that spot is markedly cooler, and drops significantly as one moves towards the exterior walls of the house. Although I haven’t measured the temperature, it feels like a drop of at least 10C when one moves more than about four feet from the masonry heater. I simply cannot sit in the dining room, or part of the living room, it is just too cold there. I am wearing heavy socks, heavy slippers, a turtleneck and a down vest. I am still cold.
So I am moving around this morning!
There will be three firings in the masonry heater today, so by this evening our living space will be significantly warmer.
Mist has worked through most of her angst concerning the missing Christmas tree and is sleeping quietly, curled up in the chair closest to the masonry heater.
It is a good time to reorganize our living space. The kitchen counter and storage space are very limited, so that is my first focus. The kitchen is the most used room in our house. Food preparation “from scratch” requires a lot of activity and time. Luckily we both have a keen interest in cooking, baking and eating.
Since there is no available cupboard space to store our four litre jars of dry goods, they have been sitting on the counter. Today I decided that the hutch need not display our arty collectables. The glass storage jars now reside there, convenient to use and not in the way of food preparation. Of course the available space on the counter was immediately commandeered for storing kitchen appliances, a blender and the unit that creates aqueous oxygen, which we use for cleaning. That unit had been sitting on the dining table, for want of any other place to put it.
As much as I dislike dealing with bureaucracy, there were several issues that needed attention today, and phone calls to be made. All done now, for the moment anyway.
The day has slipped by quietly. I feel wealthy, and grateful.
Pressure: 101.4 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Humidity: 83 %
Wind: SE 4 km/h
Wind Chill: -27
“Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing.”
1879 – 1951
[Although I sympathize with this sentiment, I have experienced one exception. Charles Bliss, a brilliant Holocaust Survivor, created a language of symbols as a universal language of peace. In my opinion the language, as created by Charles Bliss, cannot be used to convey mean or sarcastic things.]