Garden Talk

There’s nothing more frustrating than finding a delicious-sounding recipe to make for supper, glancing at the list of ingredients and jumping in, then finding out you are missing one thing. For me, running to the store takes about 45 minutes, so that could create issues with keeping on track for the meal.

With all of my garden produce and herbs preserved that has stopped a lot of those instances, but one thing I still find I don’t have very often is mushrooms.

I used to opt for leaving them out of the recipe if I didn’t get them when I was at the store. But before putting my dehydrator up for the season, my husband asked me if we could dehydrate mushrooms. I’m not sure what brought up the question, but I replied that I was sure they could be dried. Pulling out my preserving book, I found mushrooms dehydrate very well.

The next time we were at the store, we found several packages of sliced mushrooms on sale and loaded up our cart. To dry them, wash the mushrooms and place them on the trays, leaving a little space between each one. It only takes about four to six hours to dry them until they are crispy. Let them cool, then put them in jars or baggies to store them.

Now, when you have a recipe with mushrooms, simply rehydrate by pouring boiling water over them and letting them set for 15 to 30 minutes. Or, if you are making a soup, just toss the dried mushrooms in and they will rehydrate while cooking.

Now there is one less ingratiate I will have to go without when trying out a new recipe on the spur of the moment.

Another plus is those extra mushrooms no longer go to waste when you do buy some for one recipe.

Until next time, happy garden-fresh eating!

Julie Clements is the managing editor of the Butler County Times-Gazette and also a Butler County Master Gardener.

Share your ideas for garden-fresh recipes or ways to preserve at and some will be featured in upcoming columns.