Making tomato powder is easy (thanks to Dawn for asking). Here's a quick rundown. The fresh sliced tomatoes (seeds, skins, pulp, and all) go onto the dehydrator tray. (This can be done in an outdoor solar dryer--you might want to google that.) I dry until they are nearly brittle, then remove. If I had a mesh insert for the tray, I would use that--it would make removing the dried tomatoes much easier. The dried tomatoes go into the freezer for an hour, to make powdering easier.
Then they go into the blender, in small amounts. I use a mini-jar (the old-fashioned narrow mouth pint jars fit my blender). I've also used the coffee grinder that I use for my herbs. The trick is to do it in small amounts; otherwise, the powder will gum up the blades: it is really, really hygroscopic. I store the powder in the refrigerator, tightly capped. I keep some in a small capped shaker bottle, mixed with a little salt and pepper, for shaking onto omelets, mashed potatoes, soups. A spoonful of the powder (straight, no salt) adds zip to many dishes. I've also made chile powder, kale powder, zuchinni "flour"--fun to experiment!
More heat here: 106 outside our kitchen door yesterday, 81 this morning when the dogs and I went out just before sunrise. Maybe a shower today--there's a cold front sagging down from the north. (I'm hearing thunder, and the dog just crept under my desk: he thinks a storm is coming.) But that's only a temporary relief. It's due to warm up again tomorrow, 100+. I'm reading about an El Nino developing in the eastern Pacific that could bring rain to us in October and November. The only hope for rain sooner is a hurricane in the Gulf, and nobody wants that!
Forward progress on the book, tieing off the dangling story ends, pulling things together for the conclusion, in another 10,000 words. Loving the dragon--he's a great character, with lots of life and energy. He's like an actor who brings a new kind of energy into the scene when he's onstage. He's also in The Tale of Briar Bank. You can see him on the cover there.
Reading note. After all these years thinking about drying food and planting and harvesting, I believe that the single most important thing each one of us can do to balance the world's food supply is to take more responsibility for securing our own food. By utilizing locally grown food, we can be more independent and self=sufficient. Each one of us can strive to minimize our impact on the planet. Grow food yourself or support those who sell at your local market. Money spent locally strengthens your community.--Mary T. Bell, Food Drying with an Attitude