So, I was one of the lucky ones to be given some huge zucchini from a friend's garden. I didn't grow any this year, so I was actually excited to get some! Well, after the excitement wore off, those three big dudes sat on my kitchen counter until I could figure out what to do with them. I didn't want to freeze them since we'll be moving soon and that would be a waste or I'd be a 2nd generation giver (heh heh). And right now I'm not that into stir-fry. So... what else do you do with zucchini? I cracked open my Ball Blue Book of Preserving because I was sure it would tell me something I could do with zukes and I was right! It said I could dehydrate them. Wow. Why hadn't I thought of that? It's brilliant! Dehydrated stuff takes a miniscule amount of space to store and they're fast and easy to use. And if the electricity goes out they don't go bad like frozen stuff.
So, I busted out my hand-me-down dehydrator from the '70s, cleaned it out and sliced up those zuke daddies. My dehydrator has about 6 or 7 shelves and it took 2 1/2 of my zucchinis (plus a couple of Bloody Butcher tomatoes)! And I really think I'll be able to fit all the dried chips into one quart mason jar. AMAZING!!!
I love this article in Mother Earth News about drying food. It got me really excited about drying food because usually canning stuff is the star of the preservation show. I am amazed at what you can dehydrate and the fact that you can do it all in the sun (indoors or out!) is even more awesome! I'm really paranoid about running my dehydrator at night (risk of fire???) so it's taking longer than it probably has to, and I'm not too fond of how much electricity it's taking, but I am excited about my proactive streak and not letting the zucchini go to waste. :-)