I mentioned in my last post of Mealtime Mondays that it wasn’t overwhelming to dehydrate food for 150 days. I lied.
Friday, I hit the preverbal brick wall. I woke up in the middle of the night panicking. My mind went something like this. Lisa, you are going to be out for 150 days. How much meat does it take to make a ½ cup dehydrated serving? Have you checked your gallon bags to see just how many half cup servings are in each one? Raw meat to dehydrated state meat – what is that equation? If someone asked you on this blog how much raw meat does it take to make ½ cup dehydrated serving, would you be able to answer them?
So, needless to say, I immediately got out of bed at 2:30 a.m. pulled a gallon bag of dehydrated hamburger out of the freezer. (That’s where I store all dehydrated foods until I vacuum seal them.) I got a large bowl and a ½ (half) cup measuring cup and started measuring. 12 ½ (half) cup servings. Each gallon bag held the equivalent of 6 (six) pounds of raw meat. Now I had a ratio. It was going to take ½ pound meat to every ½ cup of dehydrated meat for each meal this summer.
I’m going to need HOW MUCH MEAT?
Yeah, ok. 150 days divided by two and that is 75 give or take a few meals without meat. I need 75 pounds of meat. Seriously, 75 pounds! I went and woke up my husband much to his chagrin and asked him – had I figured this correctly – do we go through this much meat in five months at home? After mumbling he would think about it and rolled back over to sleep, I went and grabbed my trusty dehydrating book and went on line to my go-to sites when I need information. The consensus on two sites and my book was the same. While meat dehydrates down to that half cup serving which is the equivalent of eating a half pound of un-dehydrated meat, the reconstitution does not bring it back to a half pound of meat, thus the need for a half cup serving when making your meals.
I guess deep down I knew this and the longest time I had ever dehydrated for before this new adventure was 21 days. That was an entirely different type of situation as I prepackaged all of those meals before I went out.
In this situation, I am dehydrating all the different foods first and then going to combine them to make different meals while I am out on the job.
So, there I sat staring at the words on the computer screen hoping they would somehow magically change. Not sure what I wanted them to say but they weren’t changing. I went to bed.
In the morning when I got up I immediately went to my book and my two go-to web sites only to see that the information had not changed in the five hours I slept.
I sat on the sofa and played Words with Friends. It helps me to clear my mind. I played with numbers on paper in between waiting for the other players to play their words and discovered that if I chose three kinds of meat to dehydrate that would be over 20 pounds each. This was the point where reality hit. I went into the kitchen and made a pear pie for my husband for Easter Sunday. This was the last of the pears we had put up from our garden.
Then I went back to my paper, double checked my numbers and realized that not only did I have a lot more do, this was starting to resemble a full time job. While the pie baked. I examined my list of potential meals. What would work? What did the book and my sites recommend?
Lean, Lean, Lean – whatever you dehydrate make sure it is lean and if you do chicken or turkey –well, there was a whole new bird to examine in a future post!
Walmart, Easter Sunday morning 7 a.m. Every person that I see is rushing around, buying candy, eggs, baskets, and little spring outfits. The cashier gives me a bit of look when he sees what is in my cart. 12 pounds of ground lean turkey, 12 pounds of lean hamburger, 20 pounds of chicken breasts with no skin and no bones and just for kicks 4 precooked smoked turkey breasts. I bought two huge celery stalks and some fresh pears.
Easter Sunday was going to be a long day in my kitchen.