F.A. Farm

  (Ferndale, Washington)
Postmodern Agriculture - Food With Full Attention
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Dried Potatoes

If you are like me, you have storage potatoes that are starting to sprout and you are already eating potatoes at least once a day. Don't get me wrong; I never met a potato I didn't like, but I have so much left over! How to store more for later use? What I am doing now is experimenting with dried potatoes. Here's what I do. I peel the potatoes, slice as thin as possible, blanch for 5 minutes (and I am not talking about a character from a Tennessee Williams play here) and plunge in cold water for 5 minutes. I then let them drain and dry them in my electric dryer for 4 hours at 135 degrees. Depending on how thin I cut them, the slices are quite "snappy" or thick and not dry enough. However, the crisp ones can be bagged up and the thicker ones eaten right away. They are quite delicious and go like hotcakes at the local brewpub in Ferndale where I hang out on Wednesday nights. These dried potatoes do not have any oil, so are quite healthful. They have natural vegetable salts in them and I like them without added salt. However, it is easy to put them in a bag with a pinch of salt and just shake them up. Voila - natural dried chips! Okay, now for the bad news. 5 pounds of potatoes produces about 3 pounds of peeled potatoes and this produces 1 pound of dried potatoes. The labor involved is about an hour. So . . . 5 pounds at $1.50 per pound and an hour of labor at $10 per hour and an extra 10% for overhead (stove gas, electricity) comes to $19.25 per pound of dried chips. Certainly not a value-added product for commercial production, but they do taste good.
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