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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Improvising and a Naked Lady

Naked Lady or Resurrection Lily
seven blossoms on one stem
The Naked Lady gets her name from her growth habit. There is lovely green foliage in the spring which dies back, turning brown and ugly, finally like tissue paper until it disappears. About two months later, a single green stem comes up from the bare dirt. Then, the lily blossoms at the top with five to seven separate blossoms at a time.
There were about twenty bulbs in this particular flower bed until the hens got into the bed and scratched and kicked the bulbs about ten feet into the yard. I replanted the bulbs about a dozen times, but they did not all survive. The bulbs are protected now, but they may never recover even though there was plenty of foliage this year from over two dozen bulbs left.
The greenery is wisteria gone wild.
I have the nine-tray Excalibur Dehydrator. I love everything about the dehydrator  but one thing--cleaning the mesh trays. They don't fit well in the sink. I cannot bend to wash them in the tub. It is just a mess cleaning them. If I dehydrate bananas right after taking bananas out, I will not wash the trays. But, when I switch to something different, they have to be washed. Or, if I don't use them or wash them for a week or more (Yes, I sometimes must procrastinate.) (Don't argue with me. I MUST procrastinate.)
The black hard tray is 15"x 15". The mesh that sits on the black, hard tray is 14"x 14". The box is 20"x 20". I really wish I had the 16"x16" cake pan....sigh. I have my eye on it.
There were many options to use to wash these. 1) Get some sort of oil drain pan, take off the top and use it for washing. 2) Get a pan that goes under a water heater. 3) buy a 16" square cake pan. Option #3 is my choice, but they cost $32 on Amazon. I needed a cheaper option.

Passing by some boxes in a store, I saw the perfect option for my wallet. A box.

The box is inside a trash bag, making a waterproof bath for the mesh trays. 

Nine trays and Dawn

After a strong stream from the hose, there are plenty of suds. Then, I left it all in the yard to soak.
After about a half hour, maybe an hour, I came back with a brush and quickly cleaned all nine mesh trays and stacked them on a towel on a lawn chair. Rinsing all nine one after another was soooo easy. Before, I took me hours to do all nine mesh trays.
Okay, so it is not exciting. But, it cost me nothing. I hung the plastic bag on the line to dry. It will go in the trash can in the kitchen tonight when I take the trash to the road. The still dry box is in the house to use another time.
Let the dehydrating begin.
Your turn
What was the last cheap hack or best cheap hack you used?


  1. I used a dehydrator for the first time yesterday. I am at my daughter's and her tomato plants have more tomatoes than we can use right now. I bought this dehydrator a few months back at a garage sale for $5. It came without instructions but I was able to download and print one. Because I had never actually used it before I took the time to read the booklet before I began. It was suggested that if you had a problem with sticking you could line the trays with inexpensive cheese cloth. I wounder if this idea would make clean-up easier for you. Of course then you would have the problem of how to clean the cheese cloth. At least it would fit into the sink. You also could zip it into a lingerie bag and toss it in the washer.

    Here in Southern California the foliage on the Naked Lady comes after the flower. It stays plump and green all through the Autumn then dies back in early spring. Here they bloom in late August near my birthday.

  2. I have sticking problems, but I just take the supple mesh and sort of bend it and make the mesh into a wave that rolls the bend all the way across the mesh. If it is a stiff tray, then maybe you could use waxed paper on the tray, or do like I had to do, just peel it off.

    If you do use cheesecloth, washing it in a lingerie bag is a good idea. The food would probably stick to the cheesecloth, but you could give it a try.

    You are probably so warm there that the blooming and foliage come close together. The flower is in a warm place and starts foliage around January, loses foliage around June, blooms in late July and there is nothing for three months. Of course, sometimes the foliage just starts after the flowers. I noticed other people have huge displays, something I would have had if the hens had not loved the soft dirt.

  3. I have a 10 tier electric dehydrator. All the trays are plastic and I just use it make jerky. I spray the trays with olive oil and it doesn't stick.

    1. Harry,
      What brand has 10 tiers? Is it okay to have oil on jerky?


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