When we started canning, I was prepared for a long struggle in learning how to become proficient in a new skill. It was a pleasant surprise to see how easy it was and how quick one could learn. Success came from the first batch.
When we started dehydrating (4 batches ago at the end of December), I was ready for a short progression and instant gratification. Place slices or whole fruit and veg in the magic box and pull out when dry. Sounded easy. I am learning that there is a bigger learning curve here than I thought.
At least learning excites me!
We were making a few batches of water bath preserves – lots of lemons and limes filled the air. Of the 40+ fruit we had I used the zest from 16 for the preserve and was left with almost 30 fruit with their zest in tact. Since the dehydrator was already on, I decided to try our hand at dehydrating the zest. It was our first unqualified success – everything happened as I thought it would and it looks and smells great.
We could grind it to a fine powder or use it in tact – it will last up to a year at peak flavor – though I’m sure it will be gone well before then. No more naked lemons going hard on the counter any more!