Ages ago, I used to make handmade paper. In my mum’s blender in our backyard in Warri. The same blender that pureed our tomatoes and onions for stew. The very same one.
When my children were old enough to learn about recycling, we made screens for scooping and drying our sheets of pink and lilac paper, formed from soaked offcuts of red and white card, purple and blue and other shades.
Recently, I discovered the racks double very well as ‘drying racks’.
Ordinarily, I would have used cheesecloth to cover things when I put them out in the sun but I discovered that the flies somehow still got in to the ‘food’ which I consider gross.
And so, I resurrected these small rectangles, of mesh and chicken wire and put them to good use.
Here, the mesh is for ‘drying’ and the chicken wire for support.
To replicate them, you’ll need and should find in any home improvement shop:
- Mesh ((nylon-type) used for screen-windows aka mosquito net
- Chicken wire, aka rat-proof wire
- Duct tape
You can make your screens any size but I find that mine of 30 X 25cm are a perfect fit for my hands.
Using a ruler/ tape, measure out mesh and chicken wire – you will need one piece each per frame.
Get your duct tape ready – you will not need a pair of scissors to cut the pieces of tape you need.
Overlay a piece of mesh on the chick wire and tape one side to join.
Repeat on all sides till all the edges are covered in duct tape.
And voila, your screen is ready. Perfect for drying fruit.
All you need do is place the pieces of fruit, seeds or nuts on the mesh side.
Place the second ‘rack’, mesh side down so the fruit is sandwiched.
Using pegs, ‘close off’ the sides.
Set out in the sun to dry.
I don’t take the fruits/ nuts off the rack till they are dry.
Use and store as you like.