Posted by: Avivah | October 23, 2008

My newest kitchen appliance

Last week I made a big decision, one that I’ve been thinking about for a few months, and couldn’t justify doing.  I purchased a new dehydrator, an Excalibur.

I mentioned that I had a small dehydrator that my mom had left behind for us, right?  Well, a month or two ago, I went down the basement and discovered that someone had apparently stepped on it (!) since the trays were all broken.  Please don’t ask how it’s possible for someone to step on a dehydrator without noticing what they’re doing, or why it was on the floor instead of where it was supposed to be.  That’s the kind of question that comes up very often here, and to keep my sanity I’ve tried to accept a certain amount of collateral damage is an inevitable part of living with children.  🙂

Anyway, as long as we had that dehydrator, even though it wasn’t very good, I couldn’t get something else, because that would be wasteful.  And if I was going to buy something, I wanted it to be top quality and large enough to handle the capacities that a family our size demands, and that meant the Excalibur, which meant $$$.  I’ve spent plenty these last few months on my other projects that I didn’t feel it was right to spend on a luxury that I could do fine without.

But then I found out about these dehydrators – they are being sold direct from the manufacturer, but are only $149.95, including shipping.  It’s the largest size they have (not including the commercial ones), with nine trays.  I got mine on ebay, and that listing expired, but here’s a link that will be current for a couple of days:  They are unused, but for whatever reason were returned to the manufacturer (eg, store display, wrong size ordered, etc).  They are thoroughly checked over to be sure that everything works as it should, and come with a ten year warranty – if you buy a new one direct from the manufacturer, you get a three year warranty.  So it’s a lot cheaper with a much longer warranty!

I also ordered three Paraflex sheets, to use for making fruit leathers.  I’ve so often seen ripe bananas and other fruits that I’ve passed on because I couldn’t use it all up fast enough, and I thought that having an option to turn them into fruit leather would be nice.

It arrived yesterday, and right away everyone was commenting on the obvious difference in quality and size.  I decided to inaugurate it today with sweet potatoes since I had about twenty pounds around and some were starting to get soft spots (and I’m going to be doing a big shopping trip very soon and buying more).  We cut away the soft spots, put them in a pot to steam lightly (they ended up getting more than lightly steamed, but as I said before, letting go of rigid expectations of how and what everyone does things is a big part of a pleasant home atmosphere), sliced them, and then put them in the dehydrator.  They’re still going right now – the kids were commenting about how much faster they seem to be drying – with the old dehydrator, it took over 24 hours and we had to rotate the trays, and still the tray on the bottom was too crispy and the top one not dried enough!

I’m amazed that only 4.5 of the nine trays were filled – it really has a large capacity!  I’ll turn it off before I go to sleep tonight, and once they cool off, I’m sure they’ll take up a lot less space than they were before!



  1. […] Today we started soaking three different kinds of beans for this week’s recipes: 2 pounds of pintos, 2 pounds of kidneys, and 2 pounds of navy beans. In the morning I’ll drain them and they’ll be ready to begin sprouting.  I also started (well, to be accurate I asked dd15 to start them) soaking nuts: 12 cups of cashews and almost 4 lb of walnuts. Cashews don’t need much time to soak – if you leave them too long they get slimy – so I’m going to put them in the dehydrator before I go to bed. Then in the morning I’ll take them out and put the walnuts in to dry.  Have I recently mentioned how much I love my dehydrator?  […]

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