The work of a farm woman in the early days of America was that of a wife, a mother, a helpmate to her husband, a homemaker and a home keeper. Part of keeping a home involves preserving food. Preserving food is important in times of plenty so that there will be food in leaner times of the year. So when I have an abundance of a particular food, I need to store it so that I can still incorporate it into my cooking throughout the year.
At this time I have a lot of onions. I have been including onions in a lot of my cooking. Onions have been in soup, calabazas, roast, omelets, salsas, fajitas…. Now I am at a point that I need to do something to the onions so that I can store it for a long time and during that time if I am in need of onions I can easily incorporate it into my recipes.
I have decided to dry the onions and store them in my food pantry. I have a food dehydrator and I am following the suggestions in the booklet that came with the dehydrator. You can often find a food dehydrator at a thrift store or a garage sale. Also let friends and family know that you are looking for one. Sometimes just by getting the word out that you are in need of something you can almost get it for a good price. Just bring it home and give it a good cleaning.
First, I peeled the onions and sliced them up. There is no certain thickness or thinness that the onion needs to be. But keep in mind that the thicker the slice of onion the longer it will take to dehydrate.
After slicing the onion, I separated the onion rings so that the air in the dehydrator could easily circulate in and around the onion to speed up the drying time.
As the onion dries it is necessary to rotate the drying trays, so that the tray that is on the bottom is now on the top. So every few hours I rotate the trays so that each tray has an opportunity to be closest to the drying unit. This helps to ensure that each onion is dried adequately. It took me about 24 hours to dry the onions adequately. Remember drying times will vary because of the thickness of the onion and amount of moisture in your onions.
I left my onions in rings. You can cut them in smaller pieces or even put them in a food processor to pulverize them to a powder form. Next, I stored the onions in clean canning jars. I labeled and dated the jar and added it to my food pantry. I will use the onions, as I would use a jar of minced dry onions that can be bought in the spice aisle at a grocery store.