I want to believe that life is a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, but more often, things just happen. Sometimes things happen in sets of three.
First, one of the teachers at my school was having a Pampered Chef party. I needed a Garlic Peeler. What I ordered was an Apple Wedger. Stainless steel tools are too cool to pass up.
Second, I picked up Diane for a road trip to Stillwater to eat Thai food. We stopped at Sprouts on our way home. It’s what country girls do when they go to town. Organic Braeburn apples were on sale, $2 for a 3-pound bag. I bought two bags.
Third, it snowed on a Thursday night, and I got a free Friday, an experiment day!
I had a batch of bananas whose peels were dark because I left them in the car for an hour on a 20 degree F. day. I had six pounds of apples. I had a new Apple Wedger. And I have two dehydrators.
Did my Oklahoma ancestors have a ready supply of lemon juice when they canned or dried apples? I don’t remember ever seeing lemons in Grandma’s refrigerator.
She didn’t have electric dehydrators, either. But…one can dehydrate with a warm oven or sunshine. Meanwhile, on a snowy day, I’ll bask in the luxury of electric heat and electric dehydrators and find out what happens when one dehydrates apples without lemon juice or citric acid.
I wedged apples and sliced bananas. Some of those bananas were pretty ripe. Yeah, brown.
Each of an apple’s ten wedges I cut in half so they were no thicker than a quarter inch. These went into the first dehydrator with the bananas, both without any treatment or additions.
The second batch of wedged and sliced apples I put into lemon water before loading them into the dehydrator.
24 hours later:
The bananas are crispy with a slight chew. Next time I’ll make then a little thinner, but these won’t last. They are delicious, even the overripe ones. No more wasted bananas!
Any differences in the two batches of apples are due to differences in my two dehydrators. The colors are the same. No more treated apples for dehydration! I’ll just make sure they go straight from the wedger into the dehydrator.
Now, how do we deal with the changes in color when we’re canning a bushel of apples or peaches at a time? What did Grandma do? What can I do?
There are always more questions.