We're back from visiting family in Oklahoma and it was really fun to see everyone and celebrate my brother graduating from college.
It's nice to be home though, and sleep in my own bed and the kids and dog are really enjoying the extra space and their toys they didn't get to play with for a whole week.
A hotel room is only cozy for a little while, right?
*Warning...gross animal details ahead...skip the next paragraph if you're weak-stomached*
I've been busy cleaning and unpacking (we came home to a less than ideal situation with our cat, Solomon....apparently he decided not to poo in the litter box and thought that the tub was a better place to go...yeah. We're still airing things out and cleaning and re-cleaning to try to get the house smelling nice again. Disgusting. I seriously almost threw up.)
*End of gross animal details*
On a happier and completely unrelated note-now that you're grossed out and not hungry at all;
I am going to tell you one of many ways to use up some apples you may have that are kinda mushy when you bite into them, or that are getting a little too ripe. ;)
I bought some McIntosh apples from Aldi last week before we left on vacation and there were three left when we got home.
They were looking a little past their prime; they were kind of mealy and slightly soft but I didn't want to chalk them up to Food Waste Friday just yet so I got a little creative.
I decided to dehydrate them.
Now, if you don't have a food dehydrator, you can use your oven on a very low setting (I'm guessing 135-150F or so) to dry them out into a nice crunchy snack.
First, cut up your apples into thin slices, about 1/4-1/8" thick.
I did this and then my apples started turning brown, as apples do, and I remembered that you need to soak them in citric acid to make them keep their color. I had some oranges, so I cut one in half and squeezed the juice into a bowl and added enough water to cover the apples. Then I let them soak a few minutes.
You can also use pineapple juice, lemon or lime juice, or actual powdered citric acid.
Next, arrange your apple slices on the dehydrating trays or a greased cookie sheet if you're using your oven, and dry at 135-150F for 4-10 hours, until the apples are somewhat leathery/bordering on crispy.
Drying them will concentrate the sugar and make them nice and sweet (not that apples aren't already) and super yummy.
Then, if you have enough left over after snacking on them, put the rest in a sealed jar or baggie for later.
As you can see, my citric acid soak didn't do as well as I'd hoped. Next time I'll try lemon juice.
It doesn't affect the taste at all even if your apples are slightly browned, it just doesn't look quite as pretty.
A simple way to preserve your not-so-good apples and make them enjoyable to eat.
If you have a LOT of apples, you can also make them into applesauce or apple cider. Maybe I'll do a post about that at another time :)
Now, excuse me while I go munch some apple chips.