I have a refrigerator drawer full of fruit leftover from the holidays. Some of it came in fruit baskets, some is leftover from the canning I squeezed in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then there was the annual FFA fruit sale.... Anyway, I've got apples, pears, and oranges coming out my ears. I'm already well stocked in applesauce and pear applesauce. I can't eat citrus fruit or drink orange juice. What to do with all this fruit? My yearly January solution is to dehydrate it.
I can remember my grandma slicing apples by the bushels full and laying them out on big screens that she'd balanced on her clothesline. My grandpa worked in an orchard and he'd bring home lots of seconds. She wouldn't let them go to waste. Dried apples were a regular treat at her house. We've kept a dehydrator in our kitchen almost since we were newlyweds so I don't have to use the clothesline. It's very convenient to slice up the food, arrange it on the trays, and go on with our daily busy-ness. I set the dehydrator right next to the coffeemaker so I will remember to rotate the trays and keep an eye on it.
Dried fruit is great to have on hand for backpacking or road trip snacks. We also like to crumble it into our morning oatmeal as it cooks. We think the flavor is so much better than any we've bought at the store. We don't have to worry if any sugar or preservative has been added. My favorite is the orange slices. Since citrus fruits aggravate the tendency for a canker sore to develop, I just don't eat them. But once in a while, I float a dried orange slice in a cup of hot tea. I get to enjoy the aroma and a little bit of the flavor without too much of the acid. DH just eats them like candy.