Cappers Farmer Blogs > Old Dog, New Tricks

A Lesson in Food Preservation

Mary ConleyDear friends,

My daughter-in-law, Krista, told me that Charlie was learning about food preservation and asked if he and Sophie could come over while we were canning. I opted for using the dehydrator instead, as canning would be more stressful with grandchildren around the stove and hot pears or bubbling applesauce.

They came one early evening, and we talked about how quickly food spoils, and one of the ways to save it for later use is to dry or dehydrate it. Grandpa let them each lift a cake pan containing five pounds of apples, and then showed them what that same amount looked like after being dried. A real space saver compared to canning. We also talked about how people used to dry food in the sun and wondered about the bugs.

food preservation/Charlie and Sophie 

I was looking at their cute faces and almost missed the pan of five pounds of apples! Sophie is holding the same amount after being dried.

food preservation/treats on the trays 

Grandpa and I had peeled and sliced pears into a mixture of pineapple juice and water just before Charlie and Sophie came, and they helped us lay them on the nine shelves so the pieces didn't overlap.

food preservation/taking trays from the dehydrator 

They each put a shelf into the dehydrator. It takes 12 hours for the pear slices to dry, so it is best to do this either in the early morning or evening. I learned that the hard way the first time I used the dehydrator. Nothing like getting up two or three times in the night checking to see if the process is finished!

food preservation/sampling the finished product 

We also sampled some finished dried apples and pears.

food preservation/dried pears 

The dried apples are good, but surprisingly the pears are sweeter and oh, so yummy! They look like french fries, don't you think? Well, that was our lesson on food preparation. Charlie and Sophie were very attentive and helpful as expected. Grandpa behaved well, too!

Note: We love our Excalibur dehydrator with its nine drawers!