This section is from the book "Everywoman's Canning Book", by Mary B. Hughes. Also available from Amazon: Everywomans canning book; the A B C of safe home canning and preserving.
Corn is without question the most satisfactory of all vegetables to dry. Never dry it in the sun. Corn requires heat above the temperature of the sun's rays (unless the day is very hot), and unless quickly dried it sours. Well-developed, sweet ears should be chosen. Blanch in boiling water three minutes. Plunge in cold water, to set the milk. With a sharp knife cut the corn from the cob, being careful not to cut into the cob. Spread thinly on platters. Place in moderate oven or on commercial drier, and leave until it is hard and will rattle. It is necessary to turn the corn several times with a knife, during the process of drying. It will look very much like the broken corn fed to chickens.
When wanted, soak corn in cold water for four hours, or over night. Cook in the same water until soft. Add butter or butter substitute, cream, salt, and pepper before serving.
Never attempt to dry any but fresh, green beans, with tender pods. String the beans and cut the pods in strips lengthwise. Spread thinly on platters, or put out of doors on cheesecloth on wire rack. Leave until well shriveled up and leathery. Beans should not be brittle and snap. When they have reached this stage, they are dried too much, and will be tough when eaten. It is not necessary to turn the beans, for they will dry without further attention, once they are thinly spread out to the heat. Store in paper bags or pasteboard boxes.
To use, cover with cold water and soak over night. Cook in the same water until soft. Season to taste.
Shell the beans, and spread out in the sun to dry. Sun drying usually takes three days. With a commercial drier, they dry in from three to six hours.
Wash and spread leaves on a platter, and put in the oven. When thoroughly dry, crush the leaves with a rolling pin, put in bottles, label, and use for flavoring.
Egg plant should be dried by artificial heat, either in the oven or on a commercial drier. If dried in the sun, which is a longer process, it will turn dark.
Peel the egg plant, cut in slices one-half inch thick, and cut the slices up into cubes. Place in the oven on plates, or put on a drier, and leave until the egg plant is dry and leathery.
To use, soak over night and prepare as fresh egg plant.
When winter vegetables can be kept in root cellars, it is better not to dry them. For those who live in apartments, however, it is convenient to dry these vegetables, and to have them on hand for soups. Slice onions thin, and dry in the oven. Carrots and turnips also dry quickly in the oven. They should first be scraped and then sliced thin.
In making a vegetable or meat soup, flavor with dried vegetables. No preparation is necessary. Simply add a half-cupful of dried carrots, turnips, onions, or whatever is desired.
Peas, like corn, require quick drying, or they will mold. Do not blanch. Shell; spread out thinly, either out of doors on a wire frame or on platters in the oven. When dry, peas look shriveled and are hard.
To prepare for the table, soak in cold water until they have taken on their regular size and appearance. Cook in the same water until soft, and add butter or butter substitute and seasoning.
Split sweet peppers and remove seeds. If the weather is hot, begin drying out of doors and finish in the oven.
To prepare for the table, soak in water four hours, or until the peppers have taken up moisture enough to be of good size. Stuff, or cut up, and use as flavoring in hash or soup.
Wash. Pick leaves from stems and spread out to dry, either out of doors in the sun or in the oven. Two to three days is necessary for drying spinach out of doors. With a commercial drier, this can be accomplished in six hours.
1 bushel tomatoes. 1 carrot, chopped fine. 2 large onions, chopped fine. 1 bunch parsley.
Wash tomatoes (they should be very ripe), remove stems; break into a kettle, skins and all. Add onions, carrot, and parsley. Boil slowly five hours. Pour into a cheesecloth bag of two thicknesses, and drain thoroughly without squeezing the bag. Press contents of bag through a fine sieve, until nothing is left but skins and seeds. Add salt to taste, and put out of doors in hot sun on platters, under glass if possible. Take in at night, and if uncovered protect from insects with a piece of cheesecloth. Paste is ready when it can be rolled in a ball and is the consistency of butter. Put in sterilized jar, with bits of bay leaf. Fill jar to one-half inch of top, and cover with olive oil. This makes a good seal. Replace oil after using paste. Use paste for flavoring soups, meat dishes, etc.