Monday, June 30, 2008

Drying peaches

This weekend I finished reading Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” which is the sort of book that will inspire you to grow asparagus, can tomatoes and, heck, even breed turkeys. Until you remember that you have a nearly 1-year-old and a nearly 4-year-old -- and you often only sleep between midnight and 6 a.m. as it is.

Still I recommend accompanying the Kingsolver-Hopp family on their one-year journey eating local food (the bulk of it grown and raised themselves). It inspired me to imagine myself as a gardener in the not too distant future -- growing at least a little bit more of my own very local food and even storing some of it away for the winter – and to read more labels and think more about where my produce and other food goods are traveling from in the meantime.

So fresh off that book, I flirted momentarily with the idea of trying to can the peaches Will and I had picked last week. Then thought we’d go for some good old dried fruit instead.

My mother’s dried fruit is perhaps the most coveted item in our family. Dried apples, cherries, plums, peaches, apricots and pears – all purchased from orchards in Grand Junction, Colorado, dried, and then mixed up in heavenly jars or bags. I remember when my mom used to sun dry the stuff on a screen in our backyard. I never bother to make it myself, so we all just make off with as much of it as we can when we visit home. And hope we get some in our stocking for Christmas.

But on Saturday Will and I had fun going through the drying process ourselves -- blanching the peaches so we could peel them easily, slicing them, dipping them in lemon-water and then arranging them on the shelves of our very under-used food dehydrator. (My mom wasn’t right at her phone when I made the decision to start drying, so I learned later that she just washes the things, slices them up, complete with peels, and puts them on the trays. Leave it to me to read some online advice and make it three times as complicated.)

1 comment:

shannon said...

Have you ever tried dehydrated persimmons? Very good when they appear in the fall.