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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Drying Cherries, I Hope!

I thought I would try my hand at dehydrating sweet cherries today. I haven't done this before and I am hoping they turn out like cherry raisins. Fingers are crossed. My mother-in-law has a wonderful cherry orchard at her house up on the hill behind us. She usually has to fight the birds for them but with the West Nile and other crazy avian ailments, the birds haven't been as much of a problem this year or last. The cherries are beautiful and she has brought many in the last few days. I was feeling way too lazy to can them or make them into something delectable so I thought drying them would be something fun to do. Did I mention that my hands are permanently stained a delightful shade of red?

 
I pitted the cherries first and then layed them cut side up in each of the five trays that came with the dehydrator. Unfortunately this was borrowed by my husband from his mother years ago and no one knows where the directions are. There is a vent on top of the whole stack and a heating element in the bottom. No temperature controls to be found anywhere on it. There wasn't a name brand on it anywhere either. Isn't that nuts? I don't think I have seen anything in the last decade that did not have some major brand advertising on it. I actually don't have a clue how long to dry these but I figured that rotating the trays would be a pretty good idea. We will see. I guess I will know by feel when they are done. (This is a hint for anyone who may know to jump right in and enlighten me:-)
  
Here they are all stacked up and fogging up the inside of the unit. I suppose that means that I should open the vents a little more. That idea actually struck me as I typed this sentence. See how I am learning as I go. I will be sure to show off the finished product provided they turn out sort of pretty.

10 comments:

  1. Dried cherries are wonderful....and yes, be sure to vent them so they don't get moldy!

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  2. I am surprised you are doing them cut side up...the 'cup' will hold moisture...wouldn't it? I have a dehydrator, just not sure where the directions might be. Never did cherries. I bet they are tasty.

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  3. Heather,

    Give them 1-2 days and test them for being dry. Did you dip them in pineapple juice first? The juice help to keep fruit from turning black. I don't think the direction they are placed will make a difference. We dried cherry tomatoes last year in halves, shall I say Meg and Sharna. Please send 2 pounds for our morning oatmeal :)

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  4. Hi Heather~~ I have to laugh. I don't dry my cherries. I eat them. It's probably a good thing I don't have a nearby relative with burgeoning trees. I might get sick. :)

    Yours look delicious. Good luck with the drying process.

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  5. Yum!

    I'm sure they'll be wonderful. I bet they'd taste good in chocolate muffins.

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  6. Whoa Nellie! First raspberries, now cherries..lucky you!! I think cherries, because of high water content, takes longer to dry than other fruits. I bet they'll turn out great! Ok, wear fabulous head jewelry so no one will notice your hands...lol.

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  7. Red, hands, after strawberries and a few pounds of cherries Saturday I know what you mean. I am so jealous of the nearby cherry orchard and raspberry patch!

    A great resource for canning and preserving/drying foods is the Harvest Forum on GardenWeb. http://www.forums.gardenweb.com/forums/harvest
    I bet if you do a search on the forum you'll find some info on using that dehydrator. Or just join and post a question, that forum is an awesome resource!

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  8. They are so pretty! I bet they'll taste great too.

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  9. Gosh sounds like a busy time but I hope they are wonderful when done.

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  10. We have that same darned machine. No directions, no nothing. But I fire it up for mushrooms, tomatoes, whatever. It does the job. I only wish we had cherries to dry. They are my favorite but our cherry trees aren't bearing yet. Wah.

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Thank you for your ideas, suggestions or greetings. I love to hear from you and read them all.
-Heather

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We started this blog in Feb. of 2009 to help us stay motivated and to track our progess in the garden. We live on 5 acres surrounded by Idaho farmland. We have wildlife galore and are attempting to attract more in the bird catagory. This is our journal. Welcome!

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