Like many New Yorkers, I don’t own a dishwasher. Neither do my parents. We all scrub our pots and pans the old-fashioned way. Life in the big city can be so very hard.
My mother on the subject: “If I have to pre-rinse everything before putting it into the dishwasher, then what’s the point? I’d have to give up so much storage space. Plus, I heard they attract roaches.”
And while I see her point completely, and have managed all of these years just fine, I got it into my head that I absolutely had to have one. So I did the logical thing and went to an appliance store.
The appliance store sales associate on the subject: “You can’t just buy a dish washer. We need to send out a contractor.”
Two weeks later, my appointment was scheduled. I had it all worked out. I’d replace my microwave and range hood with one of those combo deals, prune the contents of a cabinet or two, and I’d be able to fit the dishwasher into a spot right by the sink without feeling like I’d lost any storage space. I even drew a picture of the whole thing. It was genius.
The contractor on the subject, two minutes after he walked into my kitchen: “The job is going to cost at least $10,000. Honestly, I say save your money. It’s not worth it.”
It turns out, so many New Yorkers don’t own a dishwasher because we live buildings that were built when people washed dishes in a sink. I couldn’t just go ahead and buy a dishwasher. I would have needed all new wiring and plumbing. For starters.
Obviously, this was really disappointing. So to cheer myself up, I bought a food dehydrator.
While it won’t solve my dishwashing problems, it does make a mean bunch of rutabaga chips. Other root veggies work just as well. And if you have a working dishwasher and/or don’t have a dehydrator, you can slow bake them in your oven instead.
Ingredients (makes about a two cups):
- 4 - 5 small rutabaga (or maybe two large ones)
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Make the rutabaga chips:
Peel the rutabaga and slice them very thinly. Use a mandoline if you have one, but do not despair if all you have is a knife. That’s what I used, and it was fine. Just make sure the slices are as thin and uniform as possible.
Place the slices on the dehydrator trays so that they are spaced evenly apart. My dehydrator has four trays, so I ended up using about one tray per rutabaga.
Turn the dehydrator on to about 135 degrees. After about ten hours, they should be done.
After you’ve finished dehydrating, toss the chips with the olive oil and salt and bake them at 350 degrees for about two or three minutes. Make sure to preheat the oven, and definitely, absolutely, do not walk away from the oven or get distracted while they are in the oven because keeping them in for just a bit more will cause them to burn.
Take the chips out of the oven and let them cool for a minute or two so they crisp back up before eating.