Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Ok...a little quirky, but here's an idea for your Austin summer bucket list. Did you know you can make sun dried raisins in your car- and that they are actually tastier than the store-bought variety?
I grew up in the North where summer temps rarely made it into the 90s. Getting used to these sweltering Texas summers has been an adjustment, to say the least. But my Grandma always said "Bloom where you are planted." So these last few years I've been on a mission to find creative ways to harness the Austin heat into fun activities. We used the sun to upcycle crayons into fun new shapes a couple of summers ago. This summer our first solar project was raisins.
And yum! were those raisins delicious! Because they were fresh and because we didn't have to dry them out as much as the store bought variety (we just made sure to eat them before they could spoil) we found that the raisins had wonderfully complex flavor.
Want to make your own sun dried raisins in the car? Here's what you do:
1. Wash and dry several clusters of grapes. Leave the grapes on the stems, but break the clusters apart into smaller pieces to allow for better airflow. (Leaving the stems on keeps bacteria out of the holes in the grapes)
2. Put the grapes on a cooling rack and the cooling rack on a cookie sheet. (more airflow, and the cookie sheet catches stray grapes)
3. Set the cookie sheet on the dashboard of your car. Turn the grapes every couple of days to allow the sun to hit all sides. Depending on where your car is parked and the heat of the sun, your raisins should be ready in 4-8 days.
The idea for this project was inspired by my friend Robin who made chocolate chip cookies on the dashboard of her car!
Katey has lots of other crazy ideas for activities for the summer (and the rest of the year). She writes about them at her blog Having Fun at Home.