With the gardening season almost here, I’m trying to find out if I can dry tomatoes for storage in the cooler months. Do you know?

Yes, you can easily dry and then store tomatoes for use after they’ve been harvested. Most varieties of tomatoes can be used for drying, but cherry tomatoes are not recommended. To reduce the drying time, choose firm fleshy fruits with few seeds.

Here’s a simple recipe for drying tomatoes: cut tomatoes in quarters, or in half if small. Place on a baking sheet in a low-heated oven (at 150 F) for 18-24 hours, until leathery. (Start checking the tomatoes after 10 hours, and then every hour or so after. Be sure to keep drying them until leathery.)

You can preserve dried tomatoes in oil in a jar, or keep them dry in an empty glass jar. If kept without oil, simply rehydrate in warm water for 20 minutes before using in sauces, salsa and other dishes. It is recommended that you keep the dried tomatoes in the refrigerator.

Do you have any suggestions on how to get my glass table to shine?

Glass tabletops will sparkle if you rub them gently with lemon juice or with vinegar, then dry with paper towels and polish with newspapers.

What is the difference between horns and antlers?

Deer, moose, caribou and elk all have antlers – solid bony structures that usually develop branches and tines. Antlers are not permanent. They fall off after mating season and grow back within several months.

Antelope, buffalo, sheep, cattle and goats have horns, not antlers. A horn is made up of a bony core covered by hard tissue more like that of fingernails than bone. Growing throughout an animal’s life, horns can be an awesome sight. Gazelle horns stretch for nearly three feet.

Why is salt a good food preservative?

In ancient times, salt was more highly prized than gold, and was the foundation of ancient economies throughout history. Without the many modern day conveniences and technologies that we have today, salt was the way to preserve meat for later use.

When you salt meat, the salt helps the water leave the animal tissues by osmosis, and also dehydrates the meat so that no bacteria can grow and decompose it. There are a number of different salt-preservation methods out there, including soaking in brine (a salt and water solution) or laying the meat in a bed of salt crystals.


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