Years ago my mother and I had a chance to glean in some strawberry fields at the end of the season. The fruit was all either under ripe or VERY much over ripe and it was perfect for making the most lovely strawberry sun preserves. The flavor was just amazing, much like strawberry freezer jam, or spreadable fruit leather. So I searched the internet and found some basic directions for strawberry sun preserves at this site. My batch came our very well. I make it with diced fruit and accidentally left too little juice, but it still came out lovely. I put it in pans in the windshield and front seat of my car (I face the car to the south) on a sunny day, so I don't have to worry about bugs getting in it. Plus it makes the car smell lovely. If you don't have a dehydrator, or if your too cheep to spend money on drying foods (like me!) use your car. Cheep and easy and it doesn't heat up the house. Hopefully I will be putting the car to good use this summer.
I noticed the reference to the cook book Preserving the Taste in the directions for making sun preserves. Its out of print but I ordered a copy (the first version because -again because it cost less and I'm cheep) and got it in the mail just a couple of days ago. And I love it. Its a much lovelier book than the cover makes you think (not that I judge a book by it's cover or anything, *ahem* me?). I don't like the many of the current styles in home preserves:fruit flavored sugar jells. As a family we are trying to move away from sugar in our daily diet, for many reason I may talk about some other time, and the preserves in this book are lower in sugar and really let the flavor shine through. The author Edon Waycott, tells you how to make your own pectin, which I have been interested in for quite a while. It isn't all fruit preserves there are also relishes, pickles, syrups, dried fruits, and herb vinegars. None of them require a pressure canner, which I'm also not very interested in using, because it's another piece of equipment to buy and store, and it steals all the nutrients from your foods too. As a friend of mine said, it makes tasty roughage. If you have been wanting to make preserves where the flavor really shines through then this may be the book for you. I'm hoping to make some of the peach butter...but instead of making it in the oven, I think I'm going to let it set in the car to cook. *smile* I just can't help trying!
I ran across an interesting link with lots of VERY interesting pickles you might enjoy looking at. Now is the time of year for putting up as much as you can. I hope to be elbow deep in it all before long.