Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Apple Dryer

We had an abundance of apples last year, prompting John to build a solar food dryer so we could have another way of preserving the bounty.

So, according to The Law of Natural Perversity -- what, you never learned this one in school? The L of NP says: If you drop an open-face peanut butter sandwich, it will land face down.

As a corollary to this law, we have this: If a handy man builds a cider press and a solar food dryer one year and purchases a handy-dandy apple peeler/slicer/corer, there will be no apples on his trees that same year.

There weren't. Not on our trees. But there were local apples for sale at a good price and John has been busy drying apples.

The handy-dandy gadget is really pretty nifty -- it makes quick work of turning an apple into nice, thin, dryer-ready slices.

And the solar dryer (which can be aided by a light bulb at night or on cloudy days) produces lovely leathery dried apples -- full of concentrated sweetness and perfect for snacking or fried pies or maybe Clytie's Apple Stack Cake.

What I find amazing is that five pounds of apples, once cut and dried, can fit into two of these quart size bags. One needs to remember that as one keeps dipping into that bag for one more sweet slice.

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Victoria said...

"The Law of Natural Perversity." I like that! The name, I mean, not what it causes. I've had more than my share of run-ins with LoNP.

And I have an apple peeler/corer like John's. What a handy gadget that is!

I think I'll hold off on getting a dryer because...well, you know... ;-)

Victoria said...

Oh! I forgot to say that I'm sorry John didn't get any apples on his trees this year. Better luck next year, John!

Vicki Lane said...

The Law of Natural Perversity is everywhere . . . even when you don't know its name. But I like having a scientific reason for these events. Like gravity.

Eliane Zimmermann said...

LOL, we were expecting a cider-press as a gift from my parents-in-law but while they couldn't decide which model we told them to stop as there were only less than 10 apples on our eight apple trees last year. this fall was much better but the situation reminded me that i have to better look after the trees and give them an extra portion of lime as our soil is sooooo acidid. i love your dried apples and the idea of drying them with solar power. well done. after all that effort both of you will savour each and every slice!

Pat in east TN said...

The apple crop was limited over here too. Cold weather, late frost, lots of rain ... which I really didn't know could hurt them ... and bears! Yes bears, climbing the trees to eat the apples whole and break branches ... yee gads!!!

I'm making applesauce from the 2 bushels of VA apples I got ... wow, it makes the house smell so good!

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Beautiful post !! Nice stuff !! Thanks for sharing..Unseen Rajasthan

Eleanor said...

Dried fruit is just like that, isn't it? You simply cannot stop once you get started nibbling. I have never dried any fruit myself but it is easily bought (all varieties) at any store in South Africa. Our favourite brand is appropriately called 'Safari'.

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Two Bags? I guess this means you WON'T be shipping me any dried apples! :(

Miss_Yves said...

The apples are a typical Norman fruit , and the cider a typical beverage of Normandy .

Please, Could you write least , a few verses as a legend to my last post(the man ,who is my husband-under the bridge?

Vicki Lane said...

Eliane -- our cider press will have to wait till next year for its baptism.

Pat -- I don't think we had bears - but all the rest. Also I think I've read that often trees take a year off after a bumper year such as we had in '08.

Eleanor -- Indeed! It tastes so good and you know it's good for you -- hard to stop!

Maybe another year, Carol, when our trees cooperate!

Miss Yves -- and brandy too, I'll bet.

I'll give the poem a try -- it may take a while . . . I'm not much of a poet . . . maybe a haiku or two.

Miss_Yves said...

Dear Viki Lane, thank you very much for your beautiful and moving poem...Time, life and water are romantic topics.
That's very kind of you!
In return, I'll compose for you a short poem about one of your next photos .(In French, of course !)

We call "Calvados "the alcohol made with cider , in Normandy.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

How cool. I've never dried apples but these sound easy.

Merisi said...

That is a nifty way to dry fruit!
My grandmother had a small brick drying oven in her backyard. I remember her putting racks of plums in there. Wood fire below would slowly dry the fruit, over a period of a few days. Now, if I could have just one of your so delicious looking apple slices!

NCmountainwoman said...

I remember helping my grandma dry her apples. What an improvement since then. Drying apples is so much better than making apple butter and applesauce, and apple jelly. Oh, and are they great for those little fried apple pies!

How nice to have such a handy person around to build presses and food dryers.

Vicki Lane said...

My pleasure, Miss Yves! And I'll look forward to your poem!

Very easy, Sam, especially when John does it!

Yum, a dried plum! I'm starting to cast my eye on all sorts of possibilities, Merisi!

Fried pies -- oh yes! I need to do that too!

Yep, mountainwoman, he's very nice to have around!