Drying Pineapples — Photos

I bought a food dehydrator in early 1997 while I was still involved as an adult member in Scouting, and began by drying (mostly) various fruits for Scout Troop camping trips; Troop members were eager to test out the results of my efforts. While I am no longer involved in Scouting, I have continued drying fruits; I quickly decided that my favourite by far was dried pineapple, which comes out like candy to me.

A short overview of my very early experiences with drying food, from a Scouting perspective, is at what would have been a blog back in the late 1990’s before blogs were a thing at https://www.malak.ca/super.html#dried.

Drying the pineapples:

I keep an eye out for sales on pineapples, and brought home six pineapples last week:

Six pineapples (one is on its side)

I brought my cutting board, knife, and corer down to the bar area downstairs, where I normally do my fruit drying:

Cutting board, knife, and corer taken out

A bucket for the compostable trimmings was also set out:

Bucket for compostable trimmings taken out

My food dehydrator was of course taken out, with all its extra trays …

Food dehydrator and trays taken out

… and the unit was plugged into an extension cord caddy that was plugged into an outlet in an adjoining room, since the bar has an old outlet that doesn’t accept polarized plugs:

Food dehydrator plugged in

The food dehydrator was set to 135F for drying fruits and vegetables:

Food dehydrator temperature set

Now to the pineapples: The labels and their plastic tags were removed from the pineapples:

Labels removed from pineapples

A pineapple was placed on its side in order to trim off the top:

Pineapple placed on its side

The top of the pineapple was sliced off:

Top of pineapple sliced off
Top of pineapple sliced off

The top of the pineapple was placed in the scraps bucket:

Top of pineapple placed in scraps bucket
Pineapple tops in scraps bucket

The pineapple was rotated so as to slice off the bottom:

Bottom sliced off pineapple
Bottom sliced off pineapple

The bottom of the pineapple was placed in the scraps bucket:

Pineapple bottom placed in scraps bucket
Pineapple bottom placed in scraps bucket

The pineapple is now ready for the rest of the trimming:

Pineapple ready for trimming

I started trimming the skin off the pineapple:

Trimming the skin off the pineapple
Trimming the skin off the pineapple

As part of trimming the skin off the pineapple, sometimes the bottoms have to be trimmed too because of the somewhat rounded shape of pineapples, making it tricky sometimes to trim off the skin in full slices:

Bottoms to be trimmed as well

The trimmed pineapple skins …

Trimmed pineapple skins

… were placed in the scraps bucket:

Pineapple skins placed in scraps bucket
Pineapple skins placed in scraps bucket

The trimmed pineapple was again placed on its side …

Pineapple placed on its side

… and sliced into two halves roughly at its centre, essentially to accommodate the length of my corer, although the resulting slices tend to be of a convenient size as well:

Pineapple cut in half
Two pineapple halves

An apple corer was used to remove the pineapple cores:

Coring half of a pineapple
Coring half of a pineapple
Cored pineapple half

I began slicing pieces off the cored pineapple half, roughly two milimetres thick:

Slicing piece off pineapple
Slicing piece off pineapple

The slices were placed on a drying tray:

Sliced pineapple placed on drying tray

More slices were sliced off the pineapple, to about half of the pineapple half:

Almost half of the half pineapple sliced off

… until the tray was filled:

Tray filled with pineapple slices

The filled tray was placed on the food dehydrator base:

Filled tray placed on dehydrator base

The top of the dehydrator was placed on the tray:

Top placed on the dehydrator

Oh and here’s my cat to help me out:

My cat helping me out

I continued trimming and slicing the pineapples, filling twelve trays; as can be surmised from the following picture, in 2012, I added an additional eight trays to the original four I’d bought in 1997!)

Twelve trays filled with pineapple slices

The twelve trays were filled with a bit more than four and a half of the pineapples I’d purchased, leaving at this point a little less than one and a half pineapples to slice up later as the slices in the dehydrator dried and made space:

One and a half pineapples left after filling twelve trays

At this point, the breaker on the extension cord carrying case decided to trip (in my experience, unusual for a single device with a peak draw of only about 550 watts, although I do suspect that the caddy does have a lower trip level than a normal household circuit breaker):

Tripped breaker

Quickly, a new extension cord was taken out:

New extension cord taken out

… which was plugged into an outlet, and the dehydrator plugged into the new extension cord:

Dehydrator plugged in to new extension cord

Back to the pineapples, the scraps were placed in the scrap bucket, which was ultimately emptied into my municipal compostable waste bin:

Scrap bucket filled with pineapple trimmings

At this point, Mom asked for some mashed pineapple, and got a total of six containers, which were placed in the freezer:

Three of the six containers of mashed pineapple Mom got

After about six hours, here’s what a tray of partly dried pineapple slices looked like, including the size shrinkage:

Tray of partly dried pineapples

The partly dried pineapple slices were shifted around to make space:

Space made on tray

After space was made on all the trays, four trays were emptied:

Four trays of space freed up

… and the first few pineapple slices dried to my liking were removed from the trays. Allowed to completely dry, pineapple will become crispy like potato chips; I like dried pineapple that is still a bit chewy and flexible, while there is still a very small amount of humidity left in the slices. As such, I remove slices when they have a leathery feel, and after the surface of the slices are no longer sticky.

Almost completely dried slices of pineapple

A zipper style sandwich bag was taken out to store the dried pineapple:

Zipper style sandwich bags taken out

… and the dried pineapple slices were stacked and placed in the bag:

Dried pineapple placed in bag

At this point — seven hours in — I finished slicing the rest of the pineapples, spread them on a couple of the emptied trays, and inserted the filled trays back in the dehydrator stack, for a total of ten trays:

Ten trays after seven hours

After nine hours, here’s what the pineapple looked like:

Tray after nine hours

… and a few more slices of dried pineapple were taken out for bagging:

More dried pineapple after nine hours
Collection of dried pineapple after nine hours

… and my dehydrator was down to seven trays after nine hours:

Seven trays after nine hours

After twelve hours, the dehydrator was checked again:

Tray of dried pineapple after twelve hours

… and more dried pineapple was taken out after twelve hours:

Dried pineapple taken out after twelve hours

… and stacked for bagging:

Dried pineapple stacked for bagging after twelve hours

… and bagged:

Dried pineapple after twelve hours

… and after all the shifting around and bagging, I was down to five trays in the dehydrator:

Five trays after twelve hours

At this point, I had gone to bed, but I woke up after a couple of hours at midnight, and checked on the dehydrator, shifting pineapple slices around and removing dried sliced pineapple. Here’s the bagged cumulative production after fourteen hours:

Total production after fourteen hours

… and I was down to four trays after fourteen hours:

Four trays after fourteen hours

Finally, after seventeen hours — in this case, three in the morning! (yes, I had set my alarm) — I emptied the dehydrator and bagged the last of the dried pineapple slices, for a total of five bags of dried pineapple slices, from a bit over five pineapples:

Five sandwich bags of dried pineapple

After a couple of days, I started eating the dried pineapple — yes, like a kid in a candy shop! 🙂

Making a two egg, ham and cheese omelette — Photos

I picked up making omelettes for Mom a few months ago out of the blue, because they’re easy to make, and Mom seemed to appreciate them right off the bat. As of this post’s writing, I don’t have a formal recipe written up, but I imagine I could soon; hence for the moment, this post *is* The recipe can now be found here! 🙂 (20240128)

Making the omelette:

I normally keep ground ham in the freezer, divided into serving sizes in small containers, so I took some out, about 15g to 20g (about half to three quarters of an ounce):

Ground ham taken out from freezer

Should you not have ground ham on hand, here’s how I make the ground ham:

Deli-style sliced “old-fashioned smoked ham”, in this case purchased at the grocery store in the pre-packaged deli meats counter, was taken out:

Deli-style sliced “old fashioned smoked ham”

… and a coffee grinder was taken out:

Coffee grinder taken out

The package was opened up, and a couple of slices of ham were placed in the coffee grinder …

Ham placed in coffee grinder

… the coffee grinder was closed …

Lid placed on coffee grinder

… and the ham was coarsely ground (though not turned to mush!) a few pulses at a time:

Ham being ground
Coarsely ground ham

(… and, the rest of the ham in the package was similarly ground and placed in a couple of containers, divided up into individual serving sizes, and frozen.)

The frozen ham taken out earlier was placed in the microwave oven to defrost it:

Frozen ground ham placed in microwave oven

… and the microwave oven (1100 watts) was set to about 30 seconds, just enough to mostly defrost the ham:

Microwave oven set to 30 seconds (1100 watts)

The microwave oven was turned on:

Chopped ham defrosting in microwave oven

Finally, the defrosted chopped ham was broken up with a fork:

Defrosted chopped ham broken up with fork

The chopped ham was put aside for a few moments.

Again, normally, I keep cheddar cheese sliced off the block in the fridge, so I took some out:

Container of cheddar cheese sliced off block

Should you not have sliced cheese on hand, here’s how I slice the cheese: A block of cheddar cheese and a cheese slicer in the form of a slotted lifter, where were the slot has an edge intended for slicing the likes of cheese off of a block, were taken out; normally we like mild cheddar, but you can choose any kind of cheese you like that will slice, shred, or crumble nicely:

Block of cheddar cheese with cheese slicer

The block of cheese was unwrapped:

Unwrapped block of cheddar cheese with cheese slicer

Cheese was sliced off the block:

Cheese sliced off block

… and as the cheese was sliced, it was placed in a container:

Cheese slices placed in container

The cheese slices which were produced for this demonstration were put away in the fridge, while the cheese slices taken out earlier were put aside on the counter for a few moments.

Back to the omelette, a mixing bowl was taken out:

Mixing bowl taken out

Two eggs were taken out:

Eggs taken out
Eggs taken out
Two eggs taken out

Two eggs were cracked in the mixing bowl:

Eggs cracked in mixing bowl
Eggs cracked in mixing bowl

Milk was taken out, and about an ounce of milk was measured out:

Milk taken out and measured

The milk was added to the eggs:

Milk added to eggs
Milk added to eggs

A bit of salt was added to the eggs and milk:

Salt added to eggs and milk

The mixture was beaten with a fork:

Beating eggs and milk and salt with fork
Ingredients beaten with fork

For this amount of egg mixture, I use a 6 inch / 15 centimetre non-stick frypan:

6 inch / 15 centimetre non-stick frypan

Also, an aluminum pie plate was taken out:

Aluminum pie plate take out

The stove was turned on to a low setting, but, crucially, given that I was using a larger burner and that this burner can be set to only use a smaller, inner circle, I should have only set it to that smaller, inner circle.

Stove set to low setting

Cooking oil, in this case olive oil, was taken out and added to the frypan:

Olive oil added to frypan
Olive oil added to frypan

The olive oil was spread over the cooking surface of the frypan:

Olive oil spread over cooking surface
Olive oil spread over cooking surface

The beaten egg mixture was poured into the frypan:

Egg mixture poured into frypan
Egg mixture poured into frypan
Egg mixture poured into frypan

The aluminum pie plate was placed over the frypan as a means to cook the top of the egg mixture somewhat more quickly:

Pie plate placed on top of frypan

A few slices of the cheese was taken out of the container, about enough just to cover half the surface of the omelette, twice, with a not too thick layer of cheese, especially since there will be two layers (see below):

Cheese taken out of container

The aluminum pie plate was taken off the frypan, revealing that the egg mixture was cooking through:

Aluminum pie plate removed from frypan

About half the cheese slices were placed on half of the omelette (in this case, on the left hand half of the omelette!):

Cheese placed over half omelette

The ground ham was spread over the cheese on the omelette:

Ground ham spread over cheese

The rest of the cheese slices were placed on top of the ground ham:

Cheese placed on top of ham

The aluminum pie plate was again placed on top of the frypan, in order to help melt the cheese and warm the ham:

Aluminum pie plate placed over frypan

A few moments later, the pie plate was removed, and half the omelette was flipped over onto the other half:

Omelette flipped over on itself

A bit of water was drawn from a tap and into a glass …

Water drawn from tap

Some water was poured into the frypan, in order to create some steam:

Water poured into the frypan to create steam

The aluminum pie plate was again placed on top of the frypan to capture the steam to continue cooking the omelette:

Aluminum pie plate placed on top of frypan

The aluminum pie plate was again removed from the frypan, and the omelette cut in two:

Cutting the omelette in two

At this point, the two halves were quickly turned over (oops, I forgot to take a picture) and cooked for another very small moment.

Half the omelette was served on a plate for Mom to have right away, and the other half was placed in a container to place in the fridge, for Mom to have at a later time:

Omelette split in two

Ketchup was added, and the omelette was served to Mom:

Omelette served with ketchup

To my pleasure, Mom yet again found it to be tasty!