Rosey the Riveter

Friday, May 10, 2013


It's been a cool and rainy spring, which didn't help the strawberries to ripen.  This time last year, we'd been picking for weeks.  So when I saw the weather forecast for today (sunny, low 80s), I decided I needed to go and pick some berries. 

I headed over to Vaughan's Farm Produce and picked four different kinds of berries.  The Albion's are HUGE and I figured the kids would love eating them.  The Chandlers are one of the most popular variety grown here in Hampton Roads.  The Sweet Charlie's are my favorite for eating (so sweet!), and the Festivals are a firm berry great for canning.
After all was said and done, I came home with almost 17 pounds of them!  Because I'm still working on cleaning out the freezer, most of these will be dehydrated.  It takes a little time to prep them, but it's well worth it in the middle of winter when you have tasty berries for muffins, scones, and the morning oatmeal.

First, I washed them and sent them for a ride in the salad spinner to get as much water off of them as possible.
I use a pairing knife to take the tops off.

Then, I slice them with an egg slicer.  I own three of them (one for me and one for each kid).  It's much quicker than doing it with a knife, and this ensures that they are equal thickness so they dry at the same rate.

Lay them on the dehydrator tray.  You want them as close together as possible, but in a single layer.

The time it takes to dry them will vary.  I usually start with 8 hours and up it if I need to.  I store them in glass jars (wide-mouth are easier to get into.)

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