Its with a sense of excitement tinged with nerves I accepted an invitation to step out into the limelight and appear at the Enfield Food Festival on August Bank Holiday. The problem is what do I do and the answer its the perfect excuse for a project I have had in the back of my mind for a while now.
If you have read any of my previous posts or watched the videos at The Old Blokes Kitchen https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUrm24RIZViPk2x9lLk7iEA you will see that I enjoy making my own ingredients working on the theory that if you have better ingredients you get better food. Now it so happens that one of my favourite ingredients is smoked paprika and so one of the projects I am working on at the moment is to make my own. I currently have five Hungarian pepper plants grown from seed on my workshop window which will hopefully soon produce peppers, which then need to be dried and powdered. The problem is how to do it.
Which brings me to the project for the food fair, What I need is a device that dries out peppers or anything else for that matter, and also imparts a Smokey flavour, a cross between a smoker and a dehydrator. After several sleepless nights I have come up with a design for exactly that a smoker that also dehydrates, and for the food fair I will be trying it out to make smoked tomato powder. The farm that holds the fair will be providing some of their misshapen tomatoes for me to dehydrate so we can make good use of a less popular product, food metres rather than food miles.
The design I have come up me consists of two steel boxes the big one is effectively a cold smoker, into which I will be introducing a modicum of heat piped in from a fire in the second box. The challenge will be controlling the level of heat. Just to make life slightly more interesting I shall be replacing the front of the smoker with a sheet of Perspex so visitors can see the process in action. I have checked its melt point and I have a comfort margin, so what can go wrong. There’s one way to find out, So once again I have pile of steel, a chimney pipe, and a sheet of Perspex.
So the only question remaining is do I have a Tour Tee shirt, or another Apron