Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A new toy

I always try to take vacation days between xmas and New Year's, not to fly off to exotic (or even warm) places, but to stay at home and hibernate a bit. I also get the chance to do some of the things I have trouble finding time for while working. Like playing with my new food dehydrator.

After reading The Feast Nearby, I was inspired to purchase a dehydrator, but between the disaster otherwise known as the garden and a pinch for time, I never had the chance to try it out. Yesterday I decided I was tired of tripping over the Ida Red apples in the garage and dragged them inside for a transformation.

My peeler-corer-slicer produced relatively uniform slices of apple, which took about 5 hours to dry. At least, I hope they are dry. I don't purchase dried apples ordinarily, so I'm not sure exactly how they should feel. I sampled some of the thicker slices, though, as I put them in jars, and they were delicious.

The peels, cores, and the apples that would not cooperate with the peeler-corer-slicer went into a pot, along with culls from the apple collection (Fuji and Cameo) that needed to be used, to become applesause (after a trip through the sauce maker). So besides two "quarts" of dried apple slices, I also have seven pints of applesauce.

Besides rethinking the garden, I am also being forced to rethink the freezer and just what I put in it. When I purchased it, my intention was to fill it with fruits and vegetables, so I would not have to water bath or pressure can anything; I'm lazy that way. But now that I am purchasing grass-fed meat from Honored Prairie, the freezer has proven to be too small for bulk purchases. I expect I will have to can some stuff, but the dehydrator now offers another option.

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