For years, we’ve been extending the life of our overly enthusiastic produce purchases by drying them before they go bad.

We have an old dehydrator that we love. It’s simple to use and the slow work of reducing the fruits and veggies to their essence fills the house with lovely sweet smells. It’s amazing. Turn grapes into raisins; apples, bananas and carrots into smart snacking chips; blueberries, strawberries and raspberries into simple cereal toppers.

At other times we’ll set the oven to 175 or 200 degrees and toss in half pears or peaches or tomatoes.

And you thought being a ‘dried up old prune’ was a bad thing.

Not for this thrifty mama.