Monday, June 13, 2011

Berry Berry Good.

Putting Food By...
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...
After you cut them, place them on the trays, seed side down.  NOT cut side down.  They'll stick.

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

By the way, the Farmer's Almanac has this tidbit to share about the aforementioned topic:

"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)."



  1. Looks great. I long to own a dehydrator.... and a garden so I can have things to dehydrate haha.

  2. Q! Where have you been? How's life treating you?

  3. I'll have to try this! I've been picking strawberries all week.

    I'm planning a trip out to Echo Hill (I live in Phillipsburg, NJ) in Fleetwood. Are there any other markets, etc that you'd recommend? I'm looking for local foods. Thanks!

  4. That is what I should do. I have so many strawberries, I have no idea what to do with them all.

  5. alastconfession: ABSOLUTELY! There are several Burkholder farms in the area, and one Amish farm that deals primarily in small plants for the garden (and their own canning and produce; they are known for their wide variety of peppers). My favorites are: Aaron Burkholder Farm, 460 Bowers Road, Kutztown, PA 19530-9762 and another: Burkholder Farm Market
    630 Topton Road, Kutztown, PA 19530-8703
    (610) 683-5204. The one that sells peppers is in Bowers, and they have a sign on Topton Road, but I'll bet if you ask at the first Burkholders, they'll give you directions (they're not very far away). Happy hunting!‎
    By the way, I love Echo Hill!
    @Teresa: Do it! You won't regret it.

  6. Hey, just been busy with my life being crazy. :) It's kept me occupied though.