My chard and I went for a car ride today. To work. Well, I went to work, and the chard stayed in my car, in the parking lot. It was a nearly record-breaking hot day today, with temperatures reaching 34.4C/94F in mid-afternoon. Yesterday, when I saw that these kinds of temperatures were forecast for today, I figured it would be the perfect day to try out my car's dehydrating ability.
While I love the taste of greens cooked in butter and nutmeg, I must admit I was looking for some other way to use the latest batch of chard from my weekly CSA share. So I de-stemmed this lovely batch of chard yesterday, and placed the leaves on some nonstick bakeware. Then I backed my car out of the garage into the hot sun (it was about 30C/86F) and put the trays of chard on my back seat. By the end of the day the chard was limp but not dry. I said to Gord, almost jokingly, "I should take my chard to work with me tomorrow and let it sit in the sun all day!" He kind of raised his eyebrows and gave me a look like, "why not?" So I put the trays on the floor of the car and left them there for the trip to work the next day.
When I got home today, the chard was nearly dry! I have no idea how hot it got in my car out there in the baking sun today, but it was most certainly hot enough. I'm taking my chard to work with me for one more day, which should be enough to dry it all to a crisp through and through. Then I can store it in one of the many canning jars I picked up for next to nothing at a garage sale a couple weeks ago, and use it over the winter in soups and stews and such.
I wonder what would have happened if I had been pulled over for a police check stop or something on the way home from work? I can just imagine the conversation with the police officer:
"Ma'am, what is that on the floor of your vehicle?"
"Um...chard, drying leaves of chard. Would you like some? It's good in soups and stews and such."
"No ma'am, but I must caution you against leaving unsecured items in the cab of your vehicle, including vegetables."
"Thanks officer, I'll put them in the trunk next time."