Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Dry Season

This refers not to the weather (which should in fact be our wet season but in this year of backwardness we had record rains when it should have been dry and now have no rain at all during our supposed wet season) but to the drying of fruit.

A random comment from Daughter #3 has turned me into a dehydrating fiend! It started a couple of weeks ago when I complained during the weekly Skype call that I was overwhelmed with peaches. We completely failed this year in culling the peaches ahead of time and were inundated with fruit. I already had 10 bags in the freezer which is plenty for just the two of us with as little as we eat. #3 said, "Dehydrate them and bring them to us when you visit in October!"

At first I was "Ya right, that's just another big ass project that I'm likely to take on."  I've never dehydrated anything in my life. But on the other hand what the hell was I going to do with all those peaches? So I got on line and read about it and it didn't seem that difficult. Plus I remembered that our new oven has a dehydrating setting.  So it off to dehydration city for de-I.

Here's my first attempt after about 14 hours in the oven

And now bagged. This represents the equivalent of about 4 to 5 one quart bags of frozen peaches.

I decided I needed to do something else with them so I made my first ever peach cobbler
(Verdict - more sugar in peaches and less sugar on topping)

I made another load of dried peaches and then had the brainstorm of doing the incredible bumper crop of tomatoes as well

The peeling process

Sliced and ready to be put in the oven.  With the amount of water in them I suspect they will take around 18 hours.

I'm drying my chiles too and I have plans to dry my copious supply of herbs including basil, Thai basil, and tarragon.


Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

That's awesome! And I think dried peaches will make a wonderful gift. I'm impressed that your oven does this, so you don't need to buy a special gadget just for drying.

Steve & Diana said...

How did you ever have time to work?

alexis said...

we have a dehydrator for our one and only bumper crop, apples.

Agent W and the Derf said...

This is such a great way to preserve your bumper crops!

Xani said...

I love these two (similar) methods for preserving tomatoes.

I like that they are not completely dried, but can be stored for quite a while in the fridge and even longer in the freezer.