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sharpchick
29-01-2007, 04:22
Do you have to have a dehydrator to do this?

I want to dry some for use with herbs in making incense and herbal bath soaks. It seems that if I just let them sit out, they could rot and along the way, draw an awful lot of fruit flies.

I thought of cutting them small, putting them in the oven on low, or in the alternative, microwaving them. But I don't want to lose all that lovely citrus smell.

Does shaving the peel (with one of those things that makes cute little curls) help them dry faster naturally?

Any suggestions?

Papageno
29-01-2007, 04:52
air drying is an ancient and reliable method. my Grandmother used to do it all the time. she just peeled oranges and laid them (the peels) out on newspaper in her kitchen for a few weeks. no flies no rotting no problem.

Lord no, please don't microwave the peels. you'll destroy all the volatile essence of the oils.

she used to dry her own little chili peppers that way too.
plucked them off the plant and air dried them.

sharpchick
29-01-2007, 05:03
air drying is an ancient and reliable method. my Grandmother used to do it all the time. she just peeled oranges and laid them (the peels) out on newspaper in her kitchen for a few weeks. no flies no rotting no problem.

Lord no, please don't microwave the peels. you'll destroy all the volatile essence of the oils.

she used to dry her own little chili peppers that way too.
plucked them off the plant and air dried them.

I'm going to give it a whirl then - air drying it is.

Thanks.

Papageno
29-01-2007, 05:22
speaking of incense, the Japanese have a glorious time honored tradition of making "cured" incenses that are macerated, blended into a paste and then buried in earthenware to ripen. the results are incredible. I've always wanted to learn more about the process and experiment with that myself.

Shoyeido has a wonderful line of "kneaded" incense balls. really exquisite.

Debra
29-01-2007, 06:21
It works best if you cut thin strips--just the colored part, without the white pith. Easy to do with a peeler or a very sharp knife but be sure to WASH AND DRY the fruit first, because often is has been sprayed with chemicals and God only knows what.

It dries much faster in dry climates. I've also done it on a very low heat in the oven with good results. You can bake something, and once you've turned off the oven, spread the peels on a baking sheet and just shove it in there--mix it all up with a spatula after a while, and then leave it until the oven has cooled down...that ought to do it.

It's also fun to put some fresh-cut strips into a jar of sugar--flavors it beautifully!

Elysianfaery
29-01-2007, 09:10
I made ambrosia for Christmas, so I had a ton of left over orange peel. I cut the peel into strips and air-dried them. I was afraid of the rotting problem too, but they dried fine. The dried peels didn't give off a lot of fragrance though (I even stuck clove buds in the peel before i set them out to dry.)...you might have to add fragrance oils to them after they've dried.

Enheduanna
29-01-2007, 15:41
Recently, I had been visiting at a great aunts house, and she had niftly little baskets she had made up out of rosemary, and then she had sliced oranges and arranged them in the baskets. It looked so loverly and smelt even better. She said that she had dried the orange slices in her oven.