So I stopped at Ace hardware on my way home from work on Thursday. I'd heard a rumor that they could order canning jars, so I needed to check for myself. They were out (of course), but not only were they able to order 4 cases of wide mouth quarts for me, but they also had some wide mouth half-gallon jars in their inventory. I ordered a case of those to be used for goat's milk! They said it could be up to 2 weeks before they come in, but I'm hoping it's sooner. I am just so happy to know that we have them coming our way! While I was there, I discovered that they had the 'Back to Basics' apple peeler/corer that I wanted (for the same price as online retailers). I bought it immediately - no shipping!
Of course, once I got home I had to pull it out right away and give it a shot! I had a few apples in the fridge, so I stuck one on it and went to town. This thing is great! It's such a simple tool - no parts that could break that I couldn't fix myself - and it's almost entirely made of quality cast iron - so it'll last. Best $25 I've spent so far! I ran through a few apples and then decided to try a pear. Yeah - no go. Pears don't have a core that is strong enough to hold the weight of the fruit on the peeler - so it sags off and makes a real mushy mess. It might work with a different variety or a less ripe pear. For now, I'll just stick to apples. It also is supposed to work for potatoes - so that'll come in handy when we have enough of those to harvest that we can preserve some...
Anyway, so I decided since it was so quick and simple that I'd do a dehydrator full of apples. First I spun all the apples on the peeler/corer/slicer.
Then I used a knife to slice the spiral so that I'd have individual rings.
Then I spread them on the dehydrator trays, filling almost all 10. I saved one tray for 'experiments'. On that tray I put sliced bananas (dipped in lemon juice laced water to prevent too much browning), sliced roma tomatoes from the garden and a couple of halved grape tomatoes to see how they'd do.
The apples were yummy (my favorite dried fruit, I think), the bananas were good, but not crunchy like I like them, and the roma tomatoes were delicious, too. The grape tomatoes - not so much. I figured that since they are sort of sweet when juicy that the'd be extra sweet when dried. Nope. They were actually too tart to even eat! Go figure. I'm glad I didn't waste many of my sweet plump grape tomatoes on that failed endeavor!