A few years ago my project to walk (www.walkingthederwent.com) from the mouth to the source of the Derwent River required me to heft a backpack with tent etc for overnight stops. Like most, I am averse to weight on my back if I can help it and realised that wet food would be heavy. Instead I decided to dry vegetables, mix them together with spices, and then pop them in the billy to reconstitute and cook for dinner each night. I purchased a food dryer and was astounded at how small everything shrunk. So drying my meals became a space saver and a weight reducer. And the meals were full of flavour, nutritious and very filling.
Recently the food dryer has been brought out of storage.
Over the past few days I have been drying some of my crop of Williams (Bartlett) pears and excess apples of unknown type supplied by a neighbour.
Alas, all bar one pear had suffered from codling moth at the core. The rest of each pear was fine. I tie traps for the codling moth around the trunk of the tree but I think I need to be more scientific and time the process better. I know when I removed the cardboard, there were a few codling grubs in there, but my timing must have been wrong. More research required.
I sliced then dried some of the pears with their skin on.
I sliced then dried more of the pears with their skin peeled away.
All very satisfying. The larder is filling up.
The Pink Lady apples and the Granny Smith apples growing on my espaliered trees need more time before harvesting. Then drying. Strangely I don’t really enjoy eating fresh pears or apples, but I am happy to chew on a dried piece or two.