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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dehydrating Pineapple

Pineapple is one of those foods that are really well suited for dehydrating.  They are easy to prepare and get super sweet when they're dried.  Great for snacking or putting in trail mix, granola, breads, etc.  I'm sure you want some, so here's how you do it.

First, get a pineapple.  Or two or three.  I just had one.  If you're doing two or three, you'll want to wash your hands frequently as you're cutting them or wear gloves as they are highly acidic and it will start burning your hands.

Peel, core and slice your pineapple.  There are tools for this, but I just use a knife.  If I did a lot of pineapples, it would probably be worth getting the peeler/corer tool.  I cut the top and bottom off, then cut the peel off, then cut it in half from top to bottom, then cut each half in half (so the whole pineapple is quartered), then cut the core section off each quarter.  Then I cut each quarter in half again before I started cutting the chunks.  You can make your pieces whatever size or shape you want.  If they're all close to uniform thickness, they'll dry more evenly.

Now, put your slices on the dehydrator tray.  Pineapples have such a high acidity that there is no need to pre-treat them with fruit fresh or other stuff.  In fact, I've used pineapple juice as a pre-treater for other fruits before.  Not perfect, but it preserved color better than just drying them without dunking in pineapple juice.

I dehydrated the slices with the blueberries since I had extra trays available.  135 degrees about 16 hours in my Excalibur dehydrator.  They were crispy.  If you don't want them crispy, just check them more often than I did and turn the dryer off when they're at the chewiness you like.

They come off the trays nicely.  Put them in whatever you're storing them in.  Hide them from the snackers or leave them out and let them get eaten.  Yes, that's the whole pineapple in that pint jar minus about 6-7 chunks we snacked on before I got the picture taken.  Strange but true.  Dehydrating is like magic. Yummy magic.

Making Hide Glue – Survival Skills

Making hide glueFor over 5000 years people have been using animal hides to make glue. Until the invention of synthetic glues, animal hide glue was the most common type of glue used in woodworking.
Making Hide Glue
  1. Scrape, sand or cut your animal hide into small pieces or shavings. (The closer to a powder you can make it the easier it will be to work with)
  2. Boil a pot of water
  3. Gently cook until the mixture thickens. You will have to replace the water as it evaporates. (this process will take forever, some people cook it for days at a low heat)
  4. Strain the mixture with an old T-shirt or other cheese cloth.
  5. The mixture can be used as is or Dried for storage.
How to Store Hide glue
  1. Pour the mixture into a metal cake pan or metal sheet. (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick)
  2. When the mixture dries to a gelatin consistency cut into 1 inch square chucks. Let the mixture set for another week.
  3. Pop the squares out of the pan.
  4. With a thick needle, run some string through the squares and hang dry for at least another week.
  5. Store in a waterproof container. ( if kept dry the dried squares can be stored forever.)
Using Dry Hide Glue
To use the glue, take your dried chucks and dissolve them in a small amount of hot water. Let it heat up into a syrup and then apply the mixture warm. Clamp you wood together and let it set. Your now good to go.