It's become an obsession of mine. With the imminent collapse of the fossil fuel system, combined with my "Buy Fresh, Buy Local" mindset, the natural course of things is to preserve foods that will be accessible sans power. Also, since I'm particularly sensitive to sugar for some reason, and have found through personal experience that freezing diminishes taste and texture, I've decided that dehydration is the way to go.
I bought this dehydrator about 20 years ago. It's still kicking. Of course there are natural ways to dehydrate food; I'm currently dehydrating some elderflowers in my shed as we speak; but I digress.
|Nearly Antique Plastic Dehydrator (I'm Getting Old. YAY!)|
First, you clean and half the strawberries. Mine were grown in Amish country (just a hop over the county line in Kutztown), and are natural and local. Beautiful, aren't they?
|You KNOW I Ate Some...|
Stack those trays up. If you have multiple trays, you'll save energy, because it will take the same amount of time to do 6 as to do 2. The trays weren't cheap, as I recall (it's been awhile), but they have more than paid for themselves.
|Use the Proper Heat Setting|
They shrink way down. Down to 20% of their original volume, as I calculate...
I almost always dehydrate overnight, and that worked fine for these goodies. I found that 5 quarts of fresh fruit equalled 1 quart of dried. So I made 2 dried quarts for the winter. That should hold us.
They taste wonderful: concentrated strawberry goodness. I can just imagine them in oatmeal, on cereal, in cream-of wheat, or bread pudding...spring goodness in the deep winter. Yum.
|Beauty is Only Skin Deep|
"The month of June's full Moon's name is the Full Strawberry Moon. June's Full Strawberry Moon got its name because the Algonquin tribes knew it as a signal to gather ripening fruit.
It was often known as the Full Rose Moon in Europe (where strawberries aren't native)."