If you're like me, I'm forever eating in my car.  So, I was kinda intrigued when I heard that you could actually cook in a car.  By using the sun and your car's dashboard (or any place in your car for that matter) you can dehydrate food. 

I thought, 'hey the best of both worlds'.  I can eat and cook in my car!’  Of course I should have already known this after finding numerous dries french fries under my car seat throughout the years. *grin*

Well I was determined to see how this worked.  So, I rummaged through my kitchen and happened upon a couple of apples I purchased on sale a few days earlier.  I washed and core them, cut them in slices and soaked them in lemon juice and water (that’s to keep them from browning by the way – I know, just call me Helpful Hanna!) 

While the apples were soaking, I went on the hunt for a box.  I finally came up with a low profile cardboard box, you know, like the kind you get a bunch of canned sodas or veggies in.  I wiped the box clean, making sure it didn’t have any “cling-ons” or “thingies” in it.  I then put the apple slices in the box and arranged them like tiny little life savers (the water kind not the candy), equally spaced apart. 

Then, walking like a charm school graduate, I carefully took the box out to my car sitting in the driveway and place it up on the dashboard. WARNING:  If you live in an apartment complex or park your car in a multi-car parking lot - make sure it is your car that you are putting the box in and not one of your neighbor’s as they may not see the humor in finding a box with cut up food in their car and, may in the future, return the favor by filling your car up with their garbage.dehydrating in car

Opps, I forgot something.  You will also need a kitchen thermometer.  This will probably be the first time that you've used one (if you can even find it) - so you may want to call your mom later and tell her - she'll be so proud.  Oh, word from the wise, I wouldn't share the fact that you are using the car as a food dehydrator just yet.

Now back to your science project.  It is important when dehydrating food that it dries fast enough that mold doesn’t grow (I know, ewww) but also, you don’t want to cook it either. We are drying here. 

So, because we are using apples (a fruit for some of you), you will want to keep the thermometer at a temperature in the range of 100 to 150 degrees (this is also true for veggies as well – the other fruit.)

Oh, another side note, you will want to plan on a time where you don't have to drive your car anywhere soon.  The drying process will take several days and just as annoying as that little bobble head figure your parents have stuck on the dash of their car; driving around with a box of drying fruit on your dash would be even more so.

So, when it’s all said and done, you don't need to have a fancy dehydrator in a survival situation.  You have an instant (well quasi instant) way to preserve food by using your car!

And … one of the many benefits of using your car as a dehydrator?

Your car will no longer smells like French-fries! 

Just sayin'!

- Survivor Jane


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