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Wrapped up in Fruit Leather

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Sherbet-Berry-Fruit-Leather-close-upYes it’s true… I have been wrapped up with making fruit leather these days, weeks, oh my gosh, has it even turned into a month?! I shudder at the thought.   I wake up in the morning and my little feet hit the floor and pitter-patter down the hallway, making my way to the kitchen, for in the midst of my dreams I have come up with yet again, another recipe to test… I am not sure what bug bit me, but it gave me a fever for creating gourmet fruit leathers.

As I stand at the island in my kitchen, most of the cabinet doors are open, the draws are ajar, and the counters and sinks are full of dirty dishes.

Shoot I am beginning to think that dishes are just meant to be dirty all time and having them clean in the cabinet is just a sheer crime!  I usually have at least four recipes going at once.  It isn’t uncommon to find the water running, (filling the sink for dishes), the Blendtec whirling with some beautiful puree in it, all the while I hustle and bustle about looking for a dry dishcloth, which is usually always hanging from my pants pocket.  Logic defies me during these moments.

A photo shoot is sitting in the corner waiting for my attention,  and my printer is chiming in the background telling me that I have run out of paper for the labels that I am creating.  Fruit juice is in my hair (note to self:  always put blender lid on before pushing “on”) causing strands of it to stick to my cheek which constantly makes it feel as though there’s a bug on me.  lol   My husband walks by, plants a kiss on my head, (which is a strategic plan to distract me as he snags a sample) and gracefully walks away shaking his head, laughing and telling me that I am crazy.    Perhaps I am, but I am ok with that.   All current fruit leather recipes  are listed below, just in case you want to skip all the following girl talk.

picking-cherriesPart of my inspiration comes from my surroundings, here at Oldfather Farms.  The lush fruit season sends my mind into a tizzy of joy and wonder.  It all started with the fruit bearing season of Bing and Rainier Cherries.  After we sent the bulk of the ripe cherries to the packing house,  I was left with over 100 lbs worth to process personally.  My fingers were stained reddish/purple for about three weeks and my hands looked like those of a mechanic who works in grease all day. But I was proud of them and eventually stopped stuffing them into my pockets whenever I went out in public. :)

I was determined to NOT let a single cherry go bad on me so, I picked them, froze them, dehydrated them, made smoothies with them, made jams, ice creams,  and  fruit leathers galore.  I even think I swallowed a cherry pit when my pitter malfunctioned and shot one into the air and into my mouth!  Will a cherry tree grow out of my belly button come Spring?  My Great Grandmother always told me that watermelons were going to sprout out of there because I always ate the seeds.  I am still waiting on that.

While we were waiting for our pears and peaches to ripen for harvest,  I couldn’t resist visiting the local Fruit Loop and this is where I got into trouble, I kept coming home with arms laden with fresh; strawberries, huckleberries, apricots, and apples.  I was like an addict who couldn’t control herself!  And no one was brave enough stand between me and the fruit to say, “No more Amie Sue!”… so I fed my addiction, literally.

I had dehydrator trays all over my kitchen, fruit leathers had invaded and taken control.  My brain was constantly interrupting itself.  The chatter went something like this: “I could try…oh wait, what would tarragon taste like paired with, oh oh, bananas, I could combine bananas and …. wait…. a bright shiny object!”

I kid you not, there was a tornado of ideas going through my mind so quickly that I almost called for an emergency broadcast (this was not a test)!  It was exhausting as my body tried to keep up with my mind.  I would no sooner wash the counter load of dishes when another creation would hit me and the process would start over.  There was no end to my madness so I caved into it.  The Borg where right on Star Trek, resistance is and was… futile.

It wasn’t just creating the recipes that kept me busy. I then had to package and design labels for all of them.  Right now my stand-alone freezer is chuck full of raw treats and it brings me such joy, and to my non-stop grazing husband. hehe We keep the freezer in the garage and my husband is always in it, pulling out raw treats and sharing them with everyone who comes over;  guests, orchard workers, the neighbors horses,  the electricians, you name it.  Today, a crew of five workers who are removing poison oak from our land, got Banana and Strawberry Dixie Pops.  Nothing more masculine than seeing a hard-working men walk around with Dixie Pops. lol

Still covered in every fruit puree possible… pear harvest hit… well for Bartlett’s anyway, the Bosc are still on the branches right now.  And trust me those branches are hanging low with the weight of the fruit on them.  Occasionally I go out there and lift up a branch or two, hoping to give the trunk of the tree some relief.  A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!   The day of harvest came and it was a glorious day outside, the weather was perfect as it hovered around the mid seventies, the sun was high but there was a slight breeze in the air to keep it from beating down to harshly.   The orchard pickers reminded me of stealth ninjas,  one minute they were in front of you, the next minute they had disappeared into the trees only leaving a ghostly trail of dust that proved that they were once there.

The rumbling of trucks and four-wheelers kept a steady hum as the workers continued well into the late afternoon.  There were bins and barrels of pears peppered around the land. Ladders clanked and squeaked as they stripped each tree clean of its bounty.  Then faintly, if the wind caught their words just right,  you would hear a cadence of orders being commanded, a friendly chatter between workers and occasionally a melody of song would whisper through the air.   They were working hard but they seemed happy.  Which made me happy.  I sit here with a smile on my face as I look at the photo to the left here… You can’t quite see the huge grin on Bob’s face but he too was in heaven.  Here is giving the pears a bit of loving before they got shipped off.  So, keep in mind, if you buy a pear and it tastes amazing… it could be from Oldfather Farms… infused with love!  :)

Oh, and did I mention that there was a Mexican food truck parked in the middle of the orchard?!  Oh gosh, how could I forget that.  This topped it all!  A local restaurant sent out one of their food trucks to feed the workers.  What an odd, yet wonderful and tasty delight that was!  I posted a picture below of Gina and Bob enjoying a Mexican feast.  Boy, was the food amazing!  Here is a shout out to Taqueria Los Amigos!

No sooner did the pears start to ripen, then so did our little peach trees. (and they still are)   Cherries, pears and now peaches!  How is one to keep up?!  (wipes brow and carries a grin stretched from one ear to the other)  So, daily I head out and touch the pears, seeing if they are ready for picking.  Ok, ok, I talk to them too, really, there’s no need for a straightjacket.  Really.

But wait, there’s more!  (I feel like a Ginsue knife commercial)  Blackberries!!  Take me now lord, for I am in heaven! lol  We must have at least a hundred feet of wild, thorned, blackberries within our property lines and trust me, I have picked buckets full.  But I have come to realize that I realistically can’t keep up with them, so I am going to share some with the birds.  :)  Below, I am picking away while Bob is rejoicing in the background.  I do love that man.

So, as I already said, I have been making oodles of fruit leathers and I wanted to share all the recipes with you that I have been creating but I was concerned about releasing them individually and overloading you with emails so I decided to do one grand-puba post and include links to the fruit leather recipes that I have released so far.  I have developed, prepared and tested over 40 new recipes.  Most have been an instant hit but I have one right now as I type this that has given me some challenges.  I am on the 3rd attempt of that recipe trying to perfect it.  But that’s ok too because the mess ups didn’t end up in the trash,  they actually gave me a whole new idea and now I am off in a new direction.  I will share more later …

To view my fruit leather creations, click (here).

They freeze beautifully too!

OH and one last thing that I wanted to share with you.  Bless my husbands heart,  he sees all the work that I put into these creations, the amount of time I spend on them and he wanted to do something special for me,  he wanted to find a way to make my life easier….so he bought me a new washing machine…

Isn’t he just amazing?! lol

11 thoughts on “Wrapped up in Fruit Leather

  1. Sandy says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,

    Last night I had a dream we were talking on the phone making up recipes and we came up with a sweet cherry coconut rough covered in chocolate thing. Yum I want one. Like a Cadbury’s Cherry Ripe chocolate bar but raw of course.

    It could be smooth in little square bite sized pieces or rough dollops. Or even long bars.

    P.S. I thought I was the only one that put the blender on without the lid lol

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Sandy :)

      A Cadbury’s Cherry Ripe chocolate bar? Hmm, never heard of those… I will check into the ingredients and “see” what they “taste” like. lol Yea, the blender lid…sighs. :) I am always doing crazy things like that in the kitchen. But then, that adds to the excitement of life. haha Have a wonderful day, amie sue

    • Edna, says:

      I am new to the dehydrating process and my thermador oven has a dehydrating setting. The setting is for 140 degrees, will it still work at that tempature. It won’t go below that temp. I can use the convection bake which will go as low as 105 degrees.

      thanks for your help,


      • amie-sue says:

        Edna, at 140, it won’t continue to be “raw”… so that is up to you. If you use that temp, you will just have to keep an eye on it as to how long it stays in there for. I didn’t know convection would get that low… I would go that route then. I hope I am understanding your question correctly. :)

  2. Harmony says:

    oops my site link didn’t work how about now?

  3. Petrina says:

    your site is awesome how did you come up with so many recipes.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Petrina. I spend A LOT of time in the kitchen. haha And when I am not doing that, I am always dreaming up recipes and flavors when I am out and about. I always have recipe ideas written on napkins, receipts, any scarp paper I find. :) So there are so many wonderful inspirations out there. Have a wonderful day Petrina, amie sue

  4. Sandie says:

    amie-sue I love everything about your website: recipes, presentation, fabulous ideas, etc. Your such an inspiration for me. I am working in Afghanistan for 3 years so dont have the luxury of a dehydrator, or many food items, but I am saving all your wonderful recipes ready for when I retire back in Australia in a couple of years time. I dream of living the raw food lifestyle including growing my own fruit & vegetables, and every time you provide us with another wonderful recipe, my itch to get back home grows stronger. Thank you for all the effort you put into each recipe; they are truly appreciated.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Sandie,

      Thank you. You will have a nice stock pile of recipes and ideas accumulated in 3 years time! I understand what it is to live in a place where the ingredients can be limited. You will start to get creative with what you do have available, I am sure. In the meantime, you can really learn and teach yourself a lot about healthy ways of eating. Many blessings to you in your time in Afghanistan. amie sue :)

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