Preserving the Harvest
This year, our adolescent pluot tree hit puberty. The tree is still gangly and has a long way to grow, but for the first time it produced more than a plate-full of fruit.
With the bounty, Robb made pies. I made jam. We sat in the back yard and gorged ourselves on fruit, fresh from the tree. We invited friends over to pick fruit.
A few weeks back, Robb ordered a dehydrator. We've been experimenting, trying to find the best method. We've already realized that simply cutting the fruit in half isn't ideal. Our pluots are so juicy that large chunks of fruit take an eternity to dry.
I fired up the history podcasts, and set to work chopping up fruit. Cut fruit piled up in a bowl, along with the juice of one lemon and two sparse teaspoons of sugar.
It seemed like I was chopping for hours.
Once you've made your own, it's easy to understand why dried fruit was once such a luxury. It takes a massive amount of fruit and time to produce the end product.
And just in case anyone thinks that Robb and I live in a twee Instagram paradise, I will add the following detail to the story: while I was picking fruit, trying to avoid accidentally grabbing honeybees, something skittered inside my ear canal. After the briefest moment of Raw Panic and Cellular-Level Revulsion, I enlisted Robb's help in extricating whatever was squirming inside my head. After a few false starts, we managed to flush the ear with medicated drops and Robb removed a live spider from my ear canal.
A LIVE SPIDER, PEOPLE.
I HAD A LIVE SPIDER CRAWLING AROUND INSIDE MY EAR CANAL.