Peaches. That’s what’s on my mind. Last week I was given a couple dozen of them by a friend, freshly picked off his tree and handed over in a brown grocery bag where they would ripen. A couple days ago I remembered to check them and they were ready to go.
In the past I’ve made jams and liqueurs, but as yummy as they’ve been I didn’t want to do that again, particularly since I still have over a quart of peach liqueur left from last year. The peaches couldn’t wait for me to decide what to do so I decided to dry them. Easy peasy and I love dried fruit, so that was the way to go.
Ron’s peaches were all at the same perfect stage of ripe, and they all were wonderfully free of bug and bird damage, as well as bruising. Processing them was simple: Clean as needed, remove any damaged spots, cut around the peach equator and twist to break the peach into two, then pry out the pit, and slice the halves. Pop the end pieces in my mouth and place the rest on the dryer trays.
My dryer is the old fashioned kind — its contents are air dried. The drying takes longer than it would with an electric dehydrator but mine doesn’t use any power and I live in a dry climate so there’s no mold. The food being dried is protected from bugs and dust by a fine mesh cover that zips closed. The dryer is advertised as solar powered but I’ve hung mine inside the house, from the ceiling in my kitchen and have even rigged up a rope and pulley system so I don’t have to get on a ladder to check on how things are going.
Things are going nicely, two days later, as you can see. Maybe next week I’ll get to taste test. Yum!