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re: "sun-dried" tomatoes
24 aug 1998
rabbit   wrote:
>...wash the tomatoes and slice them about 1/4" thick, then spread them
>in a single layer on a grid, such as a barbeque grate.  dry them at a
>very low setting, around 150f or less.

last year, i dried a couple of bucketsful of tomatoes that way on a
4x8' piece of window screen in a sunspace at a temperature of about
120 f (day) and 60 f (night.) took about 3 cloudyish fall days. also,
a lot of them turned black, as if they were burned, without much time
between between "dried" and "blackened." i wonder if commercial tomatoes
are somehow treated (with citric acid?) to avoid this...

>it takes the better part of a day, or longer, depending on how much
>moisture is in the tomatoes.

maybe i'll build some sort of solar oven inside the sunspace this year,
a 4x8x4' tall shoebox with a poly film south wall and "roof" and 4x8'
pieces of foil-faced foamboard for sides and a reflector underneath at
a 45 degree angle. tomatoes are very cheap in pa in season--a 25 pound
cardboard boxful was $20 a month ago at the leola produce auction near
lancaster, where about half the farmers arrive in horse-drawn wagons... 
two weeks later, a 25 pound box was $1.25. the box itself costs 50 cents.

i squeezed the water and a lot of the seeds out of the slices
with my hands before placing them on the screen... 


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