Saturday, May 21, 2011

Drying Fruit + More Desert Photos

I've gotten several questions about drying fruit....drying is very very easy to do....last fall we went to Oak Glen and bought several bushels of apples...Alan is partial to Jonathans as they keep their flavor very well in drying...we are on a mailing list for an orchard there and they email us when the different types of apples are ready.....
our old dehydrator was ruined in our garage fire last year, so we replaced it with a similar one...we've dried fruit for years in our old HarvestMaid dehydrator,  you can also find it under Nesco.....
This photo is from the Nesco website....ours is in its box in the garage attic right now waiting for this fall.....we find this type of dehydrator is one of the best ...you can buy extra trays if you need them......
for apples, we also bought a old fashioned apple peeler/slicer...we had one also before the fire......



those are the only two equipment pieces you need to start drying.....and once you have them..they keep going for years and years...we had our original ones for over 30 years and they can be handed down for future dryers so its a good investment...
you simply slice the apples with the above and lay them in the trays...they do recommend dipping the apples in a lemon juice solution and .we've done that at times. Other times just left them...with Jonathans, there is very little browning without any extra treatment...turn the dehydrator on and just walk away......the booklet with the dehydrator tells how long to leave them...usually 8-10 hours or so...I check them occasionally...when they are done, I store them in ziplock freezer bags and keep them in a dry place....
The trays are very easy to clean and can go in the dishwasher...
You can make quite a few others things with a dehydrator, all types of fruit,  fruit leather 9with the addition of a solid tray), some vegetables..and of course, jerky...dried foods keep for quite a long time......apples and other fruits make great and healthy snacks...often, when we are on our road trips..we take along a bag of dried apples...we also make a mix of chopped dried apples, peanuts, almonds, and other nuts as a type of trail mix which is really good.

We planted quite a few onion starts this year so I am planning on drying  some...have to dry them outside though as onions are very "fragrant"...once I dried some when we lived in our condo which was a mistake.....had not a few complaints from the neighbors.....LOL but we did enjoy having the chopped dried onions for recipes....
Alan can't tolerate fresh onions but can eat them dried in recipes.


Our second trip to Borrego Springs was really nice again....the house was wonderful..sorry, I didn't get any photos of it......it was ranch style (one of my personal favorites)....with a country kitchen, lots of cabinets and cupboard space, and a fireplace...they had built a platform in the back for enjoying the desert nights and it had 3 (!) fig trees, and two grapefruit trees.....3 bedrooms and two baths....very roomy....we picked some of the fruit to take home....Brown turkey figs (like our tree) and pink grapefruit.....my dad said that you can grow anything in the desert..all that is needed is water...
I did take a few photos when we stopped at an outlook looking down in the desert valley...clicking on the photos expands them for a closer look.....we saw a sign saying there were mountain goats in the hillsides but we didn't see any......









hope this answers any questions about drying.....please feel free to ask as we've been doing it along time.....even tried strawberries one year!
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