Transform your To-go pizza Box into a food Dehydrator that makes Pizza Flakes! Instructions and recipes inside!

Mark Stens Land

10/14/20224 min read

Title: "JC’s New York Pizza Department: A Slice of Downtown's Heartbeat"

Nestled in the pulsing heart of Albuquerque's nightlife, JC’s New York Pizza Department (NYPD) stands as a testament to the power of a simple observation turned into a legendary pizza joint. Joaquin Garofalo, a seasoned veteran of the downtown scene, transformed his insight about the area's pizza scarcity into a thriving hub of dining and late-night comfort. His journey from managing the Gold Street Caffe to launching JC’s with a partner is a story of patience and opportunity—a two-year contemplation that led to a downtown staple.

JC’s NYPD isn't just a place; it's a part of the downtown fabric, a fixture in an entertainment district where the thrum of the city's rhythm is ever-present. With a space accommodating up to 75 people, it's a venue that melds private gatherings with public festivity.

Garofalo's quarter-century experience downtown has sharpened his sense of the market's pulse. Catering to the after-hours crowd until the wee hours of the morning, JC’s became a beacon for night owls and bar hoppers, as well as a home for regulars whose loyalty has woven into a tight-knit community tapestry. It's this bond, this sense of belonging amidst the city's buzz, that Garofalo cherishes—a gratitude he extends to every customer, old and new.

As JC’s NYPD celebrates over 25 years, it's not just longevity they're marking—it's a legacy of adaptation, resilience, and commitment to the community's palate. Their menu is a New York mosaic: from the towering Empire State Pizza to the rich Little Italy Pizza and the homey Staten Island Pizza. And beyond the pies, there's a spread of culinary delights like hot and cold Hero Sandwiches, Fried Ravioli, and seasonal Pumpkin Cannolis, not to mention Tully’s Italian Sausage—a nod to New York's gastronomic diversity.

In a Dan Pashman-style homage to JC’s NYPD, let's acknowledge that this isn't just about feeding people; it's about feeding souls, about being a part of people's stories in a city that never sleeps. Here's to over 25 years of serving slices that are as much about the ingredients as they are about the moments they're shared in. So, step into JC’s, where every slice is a slice of Downtown Albuquerque's legendary nights and

Transform Your Pizza Box into a Food Dehydrator (AKA: Pizza Flakes Maker)

Stop throwing away produce!

Every year, Americans waste about 30-40% of their food supply, which then contributes to the 8% of global greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Let's save the planet one slice at a time and turn that old pizza box into a DIY food dehydrator! This hilariously easy project will transform your leftovers into delicious dried snacks.


- 1 large pizza box (clean, without grease – yes, that means ordering another pizza)

- Aluminum foil (to make it shiny like your future)

- Plastic wrap (because who doesn't love plastic?)

- Black construction paper (very goth, very functional)

- A utility knife or scissors (sharp objects: handle with care!)

- Tape (the universal fixer of all things)

- A small fan (optional, if you want to go high-tech)

- Wooden dowels or skewers (also optional, but let’s get fancy)

- Mesh or cheesecloth (to keep it all in place)


1. Prepare the Pizza Box:

Open that pizza box and line the inside with aluminum foil, shiny side up. This will reflect heat and make your box look like a science experiment. Cover the bottom of the box with black construction paper. This will absorb heat and add to the mystery.

2. Create a Window:

On the top of the pizza box lid, cut out a rectangular window, leaving about a 1-inch border around the edges. Make it artsy. Cover the window with plastic wrap and secure it with tape. This will allow sunlight in and create a greenhouse effect. Now your pizza box is officially smarter than your last smartphone.

3. Create Air Vents:

Cut small air vents on the sides of the pizza box to allow for airflow. You can make these by cutting small flaps and folding them back slightly. These vents are like your dehydrator’s nostrils.

4. Optional: Add a Fan:

If you have a small fan, place it near the air vents to enhance airflow. This will help to speed up the drying process and make you feel like an engineering genius.

5. Create Racks:

If you have wooden dowels or skewers, create racks to hold your food. Simply poke holes in the sides of the box and insert the dowels through the holes, creating a grid. Now it’s looking like a mini barbecue. Alternatively, use a piece of mesh or cheesecloth to lay your food on inside the box. It’s like a hammock for your snacks.

6. Place Your Food:

Arrange your food items on the racks or mesh, ensuring they are spread out evenly and not touching each other. Give them space to breathe – it’s yoga for your veggies.

7. Position Your Dehydrator:

Place the pizza box dehydrator in a sunny spot outside. The plastic wrap window should be facing the sun to maximize heat absorption. Your neighbors will be jealous of your eco-friendly contraption.

8. Monitor and Rotate:

Check on your food periodically and rotate the box if necessary to ensure even drying. You’re basically a helicopter parent for dehydrated snacks. Depending on the weather and the type of food, drying times can vary from several hours to a couple of days. Patience, grasshopper.

Dehydrating Specific Foods:

Red and Green Chiles:

Preparation: Wash and dry the chiles. Slice them into rings or halves, removing seeds if desired. Fun fact: Spicy foods can increase your metabolism by up to 8%! Drying Time: Chiles typically take 1-2 days to dry completely. They should be brittle and break easily when fully dehydrated.


Preparation: Wash and dry the tomatoes. Slice them into ¼ inch thick slices or cut cherry tomatoes in half. Did you know tomatoes are technically a fruit? Mind blown. Drying Time: Tomatoes can take 1-3 days to dry. They should be leathery and pliable when done.

Popular Herbs (e.g., Basil, Oregano, Thyme):

Preparation: Rinse herbs and pat dry. Remove leaves from stems if they are large. Herbs can improve memory by up to 75%. Okay, I made that up, but it sounds good! Drying Time: Herbs generally dry within 1 day. They should crumble easily when touched.

9. Enjoy Your Dehydrated Food:

Once your food is sufficiently dried, remove it from the dehydrator and store it in an airtight container. Congrats! You’ve just saved the planet one dehydrated snack at a time.

This DIY food dehydrator is an easy and cost-effective way to preserve your favorite foods using just a few household items. Happy drying, and remember, every little bit helps in the fight against climate change!