What I wouldn’t give in the dead of winter for just a taste of summer. And what tastes more like summer than a ripe peach? But to eat a peach in December here in Southern Ontario, I’d have to head to the grocery store. The end result would be expensive, environmentally damaging, and less delicious. This is because the peaches would have been trucked in across all sorts of miles from WhoKnowsWhere.
In the height of summer, local peaches can be bought in bulk for cheap at our city’s weekly farmers’ market. There is such excess of these precious favourites that we couldn’t possibly eat all the bounty before it goes bad.
My main goal in all of this gardening has been to slowly acquire skills and knowledge towards (semi) self-sufficiency. Preserving food for the winter months is part of this, and dehydrating is a great way to save the best of summer for the less-productive winter months.
Eventually, I would like to construct a non-electric food dehydrator. But for now, since I don’t have the bounty to justify such a project, I am experimenting with oven-drying. Here’s the recipe I used from Foodland Ontario. It was an interesting project, but I didn’t feel great about the use of energy. And the oven heated up our already-roasting house. And the peaches, once dried, were pretty much welded to the cheesecloth. And I was underwhelmed with the result: some kind of ho-hum-flavoured peach-chip.
I will keep working at it and let you know when I find something that works!