And so I’m here just for a few moments on this Sunday night to offer you what I have, which are strawberries that I picked myself when I dropped everything and went picking on Friday. Mostly I did it with the hope that my friend, Molly, would go ahead and have her baby right there in the field. It seemed like it would make an awfully good story.
Instead we came home with our strawberries, Molly cut Sadie’s hair on the back porch, and then they gifted the hair to the birds. I made custard and whipped cream as a vehicle for strawberries, and then I made fruit roll-ups. We are still waiting for the baby. But I think we’ll go picking again next week, given the little one decides to stay in until then.
Fruit roll-ups (or leathers if that’s the way you swing) might sound like a complicated and DIY homesteader housewife kind of thing to make, but the truth is that if you have a dehydrator or an oven that goes down to a low temperature, it’s as easy as a whir in your blender and a day in the dehydrator or oven. In this time, your house will smell like strawberry pie, and you won’t have to do a thing (except of course all of the other things you have to do–it is, after all, JUNE). The dehydrator really is the unsung hero of preservation, as there is so little work involved in the drying of most fresh foods. And the result in this case are ruby red sheets of spicy sweetness that can either be rolled up in little bits of parchment, or just free form thrown into a jar for those who don’t feel like adding a step.
A few notes on dehydrators: I have this one, which I share with the aforementioned Molly, and it works well. I find that most of us who have the cheap, round, white models seem to covet the aptly named Excalibur, square, majestic, faster, and without the challenges that come up around doing anything on a tray the shape of a tire. If you really want to go for it, there are also a few pricey stainless steel models out there that do all the good work with out the slowly heating plastic leaching chemicals into your food. Someday, someday. But until then, the cheap, round, white model does the job.