Wednesday, November 18, 2015


1. THE ITALIAN WASHING MACHINE is a wonder in more than one way. I always wonder what it could possibly be doing for the length of time it takes to do a load of wash. On the other hand, it is a wonder at getting things clean.

People my age are generally looking for ways to hydrate. 
But not we farmers whose orchards runneth over at times when
 even the Italian sun may not be enough to help. As you may recall
 from the August 2012 post          WHAT TIME OF YEAR IS IT? IT'S "TOO MANY PLUMS" SEA...
my "appliance" of choice for drying fruit is our 2002 Renault Megane: stick that foil-lined IKEA broiler pan (loaded up with the fruit-of-the-moment) onto the windshield, close the door, and you're good to go.

 Or, more accurately, you're not going anywhere until the Umbrian sun dries to perfection those figs, apples, peaches, pears, or plums. But there's a drawback to this near-perfect method: our most bountiful harvest--the white peaches--comes at a time when that sun can't be counted on to do the job. A few hours of Indian summer rays will not be enough, leaving you pondering your next move. Pray to the sun gods and wait? Leave that partially dried fruit in the car overnight and risk spoilage? Try the oven or microwave, both of which have their drawbacks? Or give in and buy a gizmo made for the purpose? 

I'd been holding out, trying to stick to my "I'm-in-the-divestment-phase-of-life" guns, when I stumbled on an inexpensive dehydrator, and my resolutions went out the window. Only 32 euros! Although peach-glut season has finally passed, it's now too-many-apples season. So once we're back from Slovenia, it will be time to take this new acquisition on its maiden voyage. 

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