Drying Apples: Rings of Gold


Dried apple slices

Drying apples is surprisingly easy. Well, ok not easy exactly, but certainly not difficult. 

I picked a large bag of apples at a neighbour’s yard and brought them home to see what I could make with my new dehydrator. I started by using an old fashioned peeler/slicer to cut them up into rings. It’s pretty cool how it makes a spiral of the apples and removes the core, saving a ton of labour. 

If you’ve looked closely at the picture, you can see that I didn’t even bother to peel all of the apples. After about the third batch in the dehydrator I didn’t think it was necessary, and not peeling them saved me a significant amount of time and effort.

I soaked the apple slices in the requisite amount of Fruit Fresh preservative, which is supposed to prevent them from turning brown but frankly I saw only a small amount of difference between using it and not. It makes no difference to the taste what-so-ever, only the appearance. If I was making these for a gift I might be more concerned, but I plan to eat (almost) all of these myself. So there!

I then placed the slices in my dehydrator, careful not to overlap them. They took about 4-5 hours to dry at a setting of 120F. Voila, I had the most amazing dried snacks that will keep in the fridge for months should they be so lucky to last that long.

Note: I made apple fruit leather at the same time; for that blog post go here.

Making a Clothes Pin Bag

OK, technically a clothespin bag has nothing to do with gardening.

Still, I can’t resist sharing a good idea and I think that having a funky clothespin bag is a great idea. Gardening involves using sunshine. Drying clothes on the line involves using sunshine. Ergo, making a clothespin bag could be seen as a garden project. Besides, every self-respecting gardener loves the smell of sheets dried in the fresh spring air. 

I have supplied a two part pattern which you need to print, cut out and paste together. Once you’ve done that, you should have a pattern that is 27 cm by 25 cm. My pattern follows the shape of a specific clothes hanger – your shape my need alteration. In addition, note that the pattern is 2 cm wider than the clothes hanger to allow for hems.

Choose a funky fabric or something classic. If you want the inside of the bag to be a different fabric than the outside, then pin two pieces of fabric together before cutting (making sure the wrong sides are together).

Fold the fabric over and place the pattern near the top.

Trace the pattern onto the fabric, then measure 80 cm and place the pattern in reverse at the bottom of the fabric. This length will determine the depth of your bag, so adjust it to your own needs. I have made some at 80 cm and some at as much as 110 cm. I use one bag for clothespins, one for an office organizer for my coat and personal items, and one at the back door for dog treats.

Cut out the pattern, and open up the center hole. If you are working with two fabrics, pin them together and baste them near the edges with the right sides showing.

Carefully pin and sew double fold bias tape around the opening. If your fabric is likely to fray, zigzag the remaining edges.

Fold the bottom to the top with right sides together and sew the exterior from the bottom corner to the top and back to the opposite bottom corner. Invert and press.