I’ve acquired a taste for dried fruit. I’d like to say it’s for all the wonderful health reasons of the vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants the chewy treats provide, but let’s be honest: I don’t feel AS guilty eating a handful of golden raisins than I do when I consumer jelly beans like Ronald Reagan trying to kick his nicotine habit. Before I left Seattle, my grandma was kind enough to give me her food dehydrator. It was packaged neatly in a box in her basement for years, so it was no trouble to load it in my U-Haul on that overcast August day. A few months ago, I tried my hand at drying apples (my parents had brought a bag of Gamy’s Granny Smiths when then visited). It was annoying and tedious work to peel, core and slice them, even with the help of the food processor. Yes, it was fun to experiment with the different spices and sugars for flavoring, but overall, a lot of work. Aside from welcoming my friend Jamie and her husband (fly fisher and hunter extraordinaire) to its use for making jerky (a BIG overture coming from a vegetarian), the unassuming machine has been sitting quietly at the top shelf of the closet. A few days ago I was was inspired at the grocery store by the bags and bags of fresh cranberries. Voila – my next “semi-homemade” adventure.
First, I washed and rinsed 2 bags of cranberries:
Then I distributed them in the classy 1980’s era food dehydrator:
Now it’s time to plug it in, and let electricity to its magic. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try to make the candied orange peel so I can make holiday bark on Saturday (white chocolate + dried cranberries + candied orange peel = YUM!)