Day 2: Cherries...turned out to be more than a day! Who knew it would take so long! I am guessing that the more I do this, the more I am going to learn. I started a Drying Journal to keep notes of my projects so that I remember all that I am learning...all those darn scraps of paper wafting around the room like fruit flies just make me a bit batty!
This cherry project came about earlier this summer, when I happened into Wally World one Sunday after church to grab a quick something and discovered these luscious cherries on sale for...wait for it.... .75 cents a pound!! WHAT?!?!? I bought a bunch (as in 7-8 bags full), and spent the afternoon pitting them and freezing them. They have been hiding out in the freezer since then, well, most of them have been hiding out...I do LOVE to nibble on frozen cherries :-).
I have enlisted some help in my drying endeavors. Thankfully for me, she wakes up in a good mood most mornings and does not mind diving in and getting her hands dirty...or frozen!
OK, all the cherries quartered and spread out nicely, ready to go in the dehydrator. I put them in on high for 2 hours, then turned the heat down to 115 degrees (still trying out the raw food idea), then at bedtime, when they still seemed too sticky, I turned it down to 105 and prayed they would not get too dried out over night.
When I got up this am, the cherries were still sticky...so I decided on a plan B. See how much sticky juice is in the spots where the cherries got moved?
I had the kids peel up the sticky cherries and move them to clean trays.
I reset the heat for 120 degrees and prayed it would work!
By 1:00 pm, they were FINALLY done!!
At which point, I jarred them and used my handy-dandy Foodsaver and sucked the air out of the jars and then tucked them into a nice dark cabinet. Now they are ready to be used for baked goods, porridge or to be tossed into trail mix.
Tomorrow....cranberries! Afterall, cranberry season is almost upon us, and we can buy bags and bags of fresh cranberries after Thanksgiving at a GREAT price!