Thursday, October 14, 2010

Apple Chips and Sore Thumbs

The best laid schemes of mice and men, go oft awry--Robert Burns

At the time, it seemed a perfectly logical and more importantly, a totally doable plan. Go to orchard. Pick forty pounds of fruit. Take fruit home and dry it in the dehydrator. Add yummy fruit chips to our pantry stock for a rainy day. Easy peasy. Well.....

Upon arriving home from our orchard trip, I realized that I had lent out my dehydrator to a friend who wanted to experiment with it before committing to a purchase of her own. I put in a call, chit chatted about this and that and then, as casually I could, asked when I might be able to get my dehydrator back. She was in the middle of a batch but promised as soon as it was dry, it would arrive, clean and ready to roll. With nothing to do but wait, I tied up the bags and pushed them back on the counter to await preparation. This was on Sunday.

On Wednesday, my dehydrator arrived, along with a jar of delectable nectarine chips for my trouble. I nestled it into it's "spot" on the  counter, pulled out the cutting board and was just about to start washing apples when I realized just how much forty pounds of fruit is. It's a lot, in case you are wondering. Also, I failed to take in to account that I would be slicing, coring and peeling all by my lonesome since hubby had committed to a previous (and lengthy) engagement. It was just me. Me and forty pounds of fruit.

Luckily, I have a handy dandy little kitchen tool that slices and cores my apples for me. Then, all I have to do is halve those slices and they're ready to go on the tray.  Things started out fine, but just a few apples in, the handle completely snapped off leaving a jagged (and sharp!) edge. I'd be damned if I was going to core and slice all those apples with a knife so I pushed on, using my thumbs to push the slices through. 

When everything was sliced, cored and halved, and after I attended to  my raw and bleeding thumbs, I started filling the dehydrator. I bribed K with extra bedtime stories, hoping she would help me arrange the apples and get it done faster. By the time she finished her one tray, I had filled the rest. Sigh. So much for efficiency. We flipped that bad boy on and I breathed on giant sigh of relief.

But wait! What's this I see on the counter behind me?? Ten more pounds of apples! And of course we can't forget the Asian Pears. Good grief. This was the most poorly planned attempt at food preservation I have yet to attempt. I need a bigger dehydrator....and a band-aid!

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