Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dehydrating Raisins! My Back-Yard "Fence Raisins"




Dehydrating Raisins! 



Our grandkids beg for my homemade raisins, every time they visit us!

I have not purchased raisins in decades. This is because we grow grapes on our back yard fence and I dry them every fall. 



I harvest our Thompson Seedless grapes for drying raisins or juicing in the fall, waiting until they have a golden blush to them, as opposed than pretty green grapes (for general eating) as shown the photo. This is usually during late Sept and into Oct. The sweetest grapes will be after the first frost, but you can risk losing grapes to the ground too, if that gets too late within the growing season.


Lot's of people blanch them on the stem for 30 seconds in boiling water (I have before).

I've read and watched on YouTube how (like cranberries), grapes have a natural waxy exterior that you want to pop. I don't see the advantage, so I haven't bothered with it anymore. I just rinse, drain them, and then pop 'em into dry my food dehydrator trays (while I watch TV), can't be any easier than that.


The raisins can take up to 2-days to dry fully, I check them about every 12 hours.

Either way, raisins do not dehydrate quickly but HOLY MOLY, are they ever terrific, and so much better than store bought! 

So often, I notice people's beautiful Thompson seedless grapevines wasting away on their fences! I'm tempted to knock on their door or leave a note, and tell what a waste!!! I keep promising myself each year I will do it.


Other years, I make delicious "Pink" Bottled Grape Juice, from the Thompson Seedless green grapes. Imagine that!

One year I had such a huge bumper crop of grapes that I bottled somewhere around 200 quarts. It about crippled me though for weeks! I didn't do raisins that year (just juice). I still have several jars left. Now, my daughter and I juice her concord grapes and swap jars. 

Ahh, the combo juice requires absolutely no sweetener and tastes outstanding!

Regards,

Sharon



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