Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Handy Hand-Me-Downs

Several months ago a friend gave me a hand-me-down food dehydrator. Finding a cranberry sale, I decided it was time to take it out for a spin. We go through dried cranberries in bulk at our house. Jason and Audrey pop them individually as snacks, while I eat them everyday on my oatmeal with a shake of cinnamon and brown sugar.

With Audrey's help, I rinsed the cranberries and prepared them for dehydration. Audrey enjoyed taking them out of the colander and laying them out on the cutting board for me, sometimes counting them and other times arranging them in patterns. I liked the festive crimson outer flesh (so Christmas) and the shocking white contrast of their firm insides.

Using the dehydrator was simple enough: we rinsed the berries, sliced them, and let them boil in water for 2 minutes before laying them out flat in the dehydrator trays, setting the temperature and leaving the dehydrator to do its work. But the berries, well, they look just about right. I just had one slight oversight. Why I didn't think to include sugar (the only other ingredient listed on our dried cranberry packages in CAPITOL letters) in the berry preparation somehow, I don't know. I suppose I have too many other sweet little things on my mind these days. Hmm...this could take some fine-tuning.

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