Our family's hopes for the New Year are to continue to expand the breadth of our sustainable lifestyle choices.

As seed catalogues trickle into our mail box, colorful pictures entice us, and dreams of planting various fruits and vegetables abound…

After being fortunate enough to receive a food dehydrator, this will be the year we jump further into food preservation.

Lately we have been routing for our young strawberry plants to survive the (so far mild) winter, our thoughts turn to those brief weeks in early summer when we hope to be eating strawberries from those plants. If there are enough strawberries, we are looking forward to (hopefully) having extra to try out something like this recipe:
1. puree fruit, adding a little water or juice only if needed.
2. pour the puree onto a non-stick dehydrator sheet.
3. run dehydrator according to unit settings for fruit (usually 4-8 hours).
4. test for dryness (put a piece or two in a closed jar overnight and check for condensation, if there is any it's not dry enough yet).
5. store in air tight container for as long as it takes to eat them all!

If your oven temperature will go low enough, you can do something similar in an oven.

What are your hopes for the new year?

Happy 2012 to you and your's!