It seems to me, even after 30 plus years, that there is still always something new, or at least creative, going on in my kitchen. It’s not just in the kitchen, though. There are always projects going on somewhere at my house. It’s in the sewing room, the library, the living room, and John’s office. At any given time, somewhere in my house, someone is creating something.
Right now there are 4 active cooking projects going on in my kitchen. Additionally, there are mushrooms growing in a greenhouse in my basement and there is a screen tent set up to accommodate soap making in my back yard. The wall in the office is covered in burlap, and Catherine is sewing adorable winter hats. That’s my life. No picture perfect kitchen. No spotless house, just lots of people, kids, cooking, laughing, projects, and messes to clean up. I love it. I fully embrace it.
Today I came into possession of a half case of very overripe bananas. I gladly accepted them. Perhaps, that’s a lot of my problem… or my gift, I see potential in everything. Someone offers me something and I see what it could be. It happens in the grocery store, the farmer’s market, the fabric store, the thrift store, at garage sales, just about everywhere I go.
I don’t think I’m a hoarder, I don’t collect things, I collect and create projects. I am a Project Junkie. It gets out of hand only because I also have a house full of creative visionaries who also collect and create projects as well. Having to stop and clean occasionally, or often, is the saving grace. Otherwise, it might always look like an explosion in a science lab. John, who is always creating humor in the family, just quipped after I read this to him, “And some resist salvation more than others.”
Project: Use the Bananas
Back to the bananas. So, I was given a half case of bananas. When I get overripe bananas, I normally peel them, put them in freezer bags and freeze them for use in smoothies. This is a great use for overripe bananas. Today, however, half of the bananas were not in good enough condition to freeze whole. Without knowing what I would do with those, I simply peeled them and put them into a bowl. When we finished, we had a bowl full of… overripe banana mush? What to do with it? Samantha suggested that we make fruit leather. What a good idea.
Bananas and Blueberries
First, we pureed the bananas in the blender, pouring each blender full into the Bosch mixer bowl. We then remembered that we had a bunch of bags of frozen blueberries in the deep freeze downstairs, so a couple bags of those came up as well and were pureed in the blender. We then mixed the banana puree with the blueberry puree. When we were finished, was a little more than a gallon of the final product. It tasted good. Before we made fruit leather, we decided to make Popsicles out of some of it. We simply poured puree into the molds, put the tops on, and popped them into the freezer.
Two Types of Liner
Next, we got the dehydrator down from the closet. Dehydrators come with two types of liners that fit into the stacking trays. There are screen liners that have little holes in them like a screen. These are good for drying apple slices, banana chips, or any other kind of fruit or vegetable you might want.
There are also solid plastic liners that are for making fruit leather. Both types of liners fit into the stacking trays that sit on the actual dehydrator. When filling the puree liners, always put them in the tray and fill them on the counter. Pour some puree on the liners and spread it about 1/4 inch thick. After the tray has been filled, you may put it on the dehydrator. Filling them beforehand keeps puree from being spilled into the motor/fan area.
Making Fruit Leather
Finally, Samantha, poured the puree into the flexible solid liners. It filled seven of them. Next, we stacked them on the dehydrator and put the whole thing in the basement to keep it from heating up the kitchen. 135 degrees for several hours. When it is done, it is dry to the touch and peels off the tray. When this was accomplished, we cut it up into strips and rolled them up. Blueberry banana Fruit leather is the result. How easy is that? Delicious. I don’t expect it to last long.
Well, hope you enjoy the fruit leather and reading about another day in our life. Let me know how yours was.
From our kitchen,
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