Yes! It’s fall! It’s apple season! Harvest goodies! Everyone is happy when it’s harvest time!
We went to our favorite local apple orchard over the weekend and picked up 20 gallons of fallen apples for a big $10. Yup. And if you are picky, you can get nearly all beautiful windfall apples! We take our time and really try to make sure all are good. We sort them out, give most to our animals and then get at least a pail worth for us each time. And of course, a gallon of their wonderful apple cider and a donut or two!
Maggie was feeling under the weather after some dental surgery, so just Jess and I went. It was easy and the weather is so beautiful right now. It only took us about a half hour. We will go back a few more times and as soon as it’s a little colder, we will be able to store some of the apples for the animals into the fall!
Maggie did help me peel and slice apples! We tried it two ways, both peeled and then thinly sliced with the peels on. I think I like them peeled better, to be honest. Some people like them either way.
I’ve been wanting a dehydrator for several years now. And then, low and behold, I found one at a garage sale for only $2!!! Can you believe it? It’s a pretty nice one. I has four nice sized trays and is pretty quick. It was in such perfect condition, it hardly looks used!
We placed the cut apples into the thing, sprinkled a wee dust of cinnamon on them and started it up. We were not sure how long it would take, we had no manual and I could not find one online. So we just gave it a try and watched as it worked through the process. From reading other people’s blogs and websites, I knew it would be six to ten hours at least. Our first batch took longer because the apples were thicker. It took about 14 hours to really get crisp and dry, like apple chips. We could have probably stopped about 12 hours, because they were dry, but a little well, rubbery. Perhaps just a wee bit of moisture still present. That is not good if you want to store these for long periods of time. Moisture is your foe in dehydration preservation.
Couple things we learned… rotating the trays every few hours made for even dehydration on our model. And the thinner you can get your fruit or veggies, the better. Thick is just not good. We are going to try some onions, garlic, carrots and other veggies! I did a few raspberries and they were, well, not really good. I don’t think they are really meant for dehydration. I do want to try strawberries and grapes! And I think it would be fun to give canned pineapple and peaches a try! Just for fun.
I’m not totally sure that this is going to be my dream preservation plan. It does take a good while to do and our dehydrator is kind of small. I could only get 4 apples worth in a load at a time. That would mean many many days of dehydration to really get any sort of stock put up. But, it is neat and it does have some fun uses. I thought it would be neat to try and dry our own onion and garlic powders. And to make some dried small veggie mix that would be tasty to add to cooking rice or even like ramen noodles or other simple foods. Just make them a little more homemade when you’re in a hurry.
For $2 and some time, it is totally worth the learning curve and we love the crisp apple chips made at home! Yum!Pin It