Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Strawberry Report....

Farm life teaches you to be creative. When you have an enormous harvest of one crop, you either gift it, sell it, or find alternate uses for it! Strawberries have been that crop for us this year. We have already gifted, frozen, preserved in Jam, and eaten our fill of shortcake. What to do with the rest? There is nothing sadder than seeing food go to waste...especiallly when knowing that 6 months from now we would give anything to enjoy the taste. We may have found a way to have the taste of fresh strawberries all year long! This past winter, in preparation for summer's harvest, my dear hubby ordered every possible kitchen appliance that could make food preservation easier. For several weeks the mailman dropped off packages that contained things like pressure cookers and, to my surprise, a food dehydrator. "Aha!" Now I knew how to deal with a glut of berries. I would try drying them.

Tuesday I picked about 15 more quarts of berries. What I did not turn into jam, I decided I would dehydrate. I washed them, sliced them 1/4 inch thick and layed them on the racks. The racks were stacked on top of each other in the dehydrator, and the controls set for 135 degrees and 9 hours of drying time.

When the dehydrator turned off, I opened the front, pulled out the racks and to my delight found beautiful, dark red strawberry chips. I popped one in my mouth and found it to be slightly chewy but with flavor so intense. I was stunned! This just might work. The flavor of fresh, homegrown, organic berries in the middle of winter was now a reality....complete with all the little seeds that like to lodge themselves in your molars.


Anonymous said...

strawberry snacks!!!!
good on cereal too

nashbabe said...

kewl. they will be lovely in cereal!

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