I tried dehydrating blueberries once before, a few years ago, and they turned out as inedible dark blue pebbles. It took me this many more years to give it another try.
Read up on ye ol' Internet on how to do it along with perusing our three or four books on dehydrating.
Nope, I was not going to puncture each berry with a toothpick or sharp point of a knife before placing them in the dehydrator. Next best option (guaranteed to work -- uh-huh, sure) was to immerse the berries in boiling water for 30 seconds before spreading them out on the trays.
I had 17 cups from our more recent good-sized harvest. Cleaned them as usual and then gave them the 30 second baptism in the hot water.
From my research I was prepared for them to take a long time to dry. These pictured above had been drying for 24+ hours.
Nowhere did I find it suggested that I might have to sort the berries into size categories before drying. (Makes sense, but just how long would that little project take?) The smaller berries were turned into crispy cinders while the bigger ones were still squishy and wet. It was impossible to remove the smaller berries earlier than the larger ones they were mixed in with because they were stuck like glue to the trays.
I finally decided to scrap the whole project, even though I whined a lot over losing 17 cups of what were once lovely blueberries. How long did it take to carefully scrape (so as to not damage the stainless steel screening on the trays) all remnants of this fiasco from the eight trays? You don't even want to know. I still have to wash the trays (thank heaven for our big utility sink in the garage) which should be fun, too.
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But not all this week has gone the way of the great blueberry debacle. Out in the garden our slicing cucumbers continue to produce at an almost alarming rate, so I've been able to make many more jars of kimchi.
This fermented vegetable mixture should keep in the refrigerator for months (some sources claim years even -- yikes!), and give us countless health benefits well into the winter. The very best part of this deal is that the kimchi tastes really good!
This is our pretty little Annie who was born with her right foot completely folded under so it looked as though she had only half a webbed foot. (You may recall we were able to successfully splint it so she had no permanent damage.) We don't believe it was a genetic deformity, but rather from being positioned in a bad spot as she developed in the egg, so she's going to be one of our "keepers" this fall and hopefully will turn into a fertile, good mother goose in the future.