No fancy dehydrator is needed to make your own oven dried lemon slices at home. This technique works for oranges, limes and other citrus fruits, too!
Have you ever been to the fair and seen the crazy games you play over there? One of the classic shooting games has a little rabbit or animal moving back and forth on a track. When you shoot it with a bb-gun and hit it, the animal reverses directions. So back and forth it goes, turning back and forth and changing directions at the whim of the shooter. Well, most of the time, it feels like that rabbit is me. And I suppose my kids and family are the ones shooting their bb guns at me, making me hustle about in so many directions.
I might be getting breakfast one minute and then rushing a kid out the door to meet their carpool ride the next minute. There’s the “Mom, where’s my shoe?!” dilemma and the “I can’t find my hat!” conundrum. Make breakfast, pack up lunches – did you grab your jacket? Wait, which kid are you? Why is your homework still on the table? You need a signature NOW – carpool is waiting for you outside!!!!
Is it late start day? Early release day? Why do the schools have to have short days???? Who am I kidding? Did I really think I’d get much accomplished this year with the kids attending three different schools?
Back and forth I go, from one emergency to the next. Sometimes I feel like that rabbit, other times I feel like the captain of a sinking ship – trying to plug up the holes to keep the water from gushing in and to keep my family afloat. I go to bed exhausted every night and completely crash. And then, do it all over again the next day.
All I need is a hug from my kiddos and an “I love you, Mommy” and my aches and pains are forgotten. At least for a few moments.
Life can run your immune system down. It’s no surprise that January was a terrible month in our house with the crud cough and other bad colds getting passed about the five of us. Once everyone recuperated and was back in school, I found myself sick again in February, coughing for another two weeks.
The only thing that kept my cough at bay was continuously drinking a hot tea or hot water with lemon and honey. Luckily, I had a massive bushel of fresh lemons from the garden of my friend Mary/California Greek Girl. Then I received some gorgeous Meyer Lemons and Pink Lemons from Frieda’s Produce and I happily found myself drowning in lemons. I love citrus season!
I juiced most of the garden grown lemons and decided to dehydrate some of the Meyer and pink lemons. They really are a gorgeous sight, aren’t they?
I do not own a dehydrator (hard to believe), but oven dried lemon slices are easy enough to make without a dehydrator.
Slice the lemons evenly, from 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. Place the slices on a cooling rack over a baking sheet or a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven to the lowest temperature (for my oven it’s 170ºF/77ºC) until dry, for approximately 4 to 5 hours. For even drying, rotate the baking sheets every hour or two. My first batch of lemons turned a little black since my cooling rack was a little dirty – hubby ruined it when he used it on the bbq. So make sure your cooling rack is squeaky clean before using! Parchment paper works just as well.
Now, what to do with these oven dried lemon slices?
When you don’t have fresh lemons handy, drop a couple of slices in your hot water or hot tea and some honey for when you are sick. You can add them to soups and stews, as well, or your favorite hot toddy. You can also pulverize the dried lemon slices in the food processor or blender for a nice powdered lemon to use in your cooking, too.
This technique can be used to dry oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits. One year, I used the dried oranges as Christmas decorations. And of course, the house smells so good during the drying process.