Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dehydrated Foods

I think that buying #10 cans of dehydrated foods is just a really good idea. Yeah, they are expensive, but they last forever and they can provide a really good diet when you do open them. The trouble is that if you buy them, you had better learn to cook with them. It isn't all that straightforward.

The first deal is that you have to reconstitute them before starting to cook. This means putting them in water and letting them hang around for a while getting back to their normal state. Then when they are rehydrated, you actually have to think when you are cooking them (gasp). You will have to learn how long each different type takes to reconstitute and cook. It isn't a huge deal, but it will take same time and training.

Today's object lesson is sweet corn. This is good stuff.

As you can see, they come out as little bits of nothing. Sweet corn is not field corn. When you yummy it up off the cob, you are getting mostly water...really tasty water. I have always thought of it as a dessert. Here is a picture of an advertising board outside a KFC in Nahkom Panom, Thailand. Sweet corn parfait, Dessert it is.

So when you dry it, it doesn't look like much of anything. You have to add back in all of the water that was dried out. Now a lot of folks just dump on water and wait some number of hours. Admirable simplicity.

That is my normal method, but lately I have been fascinated by the thermos-style slow cookers where you have a pan that you to bring to boiling on the stove and then put inside a thermos holder to hold in the heat and cook with residual heat. The sales blurbs on these things say that if you drop in a boiling pot, the pot is still >160 F. after eight hours.

So today, when I made my tea in the morning, I put in a half cup of corn into my little one-cup thermos and filled the thermos up with boiling water. I will take a look at it around fivish and let you know what I see.

After 5 hours

Looks and tastes like uncooked sweet is good, into the soup it goes.

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