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Trail Bytes, Aug 2023. How to Carry a Watermelon up a Mountain
August 17, 2023

Thanks for all the birthday wishes after the last newsletter. Hiking in the Swiss mountains is keeping us young.

We got some of the predicted rain on our 3-day hiking trip to Amden and the Walensee (Lake Walen). One of the things I like most about Switzerland, besides the beauty, is the public transportation system. After we hiked downhill a few miles to the lake on the first day, it started pouring. Lucky for us, we hopped on a ship which carried us to the village of Weesen, where we caught a bus back to Amden.

Dominique officially approved the potato-vegetable soup and the cheesy potato gratin recipes from the July Trail Bytes.

Last weekend we hit the trail again, hiking the magnificent 5-Lakes Trail in Pizol. For that hike, I added boiled water to potatoes & vegetables with gravy in the thermos in the morning, and it was delicious for lunch with a view.

Pizol is a ski destination in winter, so there is a gondola and a chairlift up to the trailhead. The alpine hike is strenuous as it gains and loses elevation between the lakes. At 11.4 km long (7 miles), the hike is estimated to take 4½ hours, but we were still chugging along at 6 hours. We barely caught the last chairlift back down the mountain, or I’d be writing about a very different adventure.

The photo above is of the second lake, the Wildsee, and it really was that shade of turquoise. We were a party of four including our daughter, Valérie, and son-in-law, Thomas.

For both adventures, I packed a good supply of dehydrated watermelon to pass around, and that’s the topic of this month’s Trail Bytes.

The new page covers how to dehydrate watermelon and watermelon fruit leather. One of my conclusions is that if you are looking for 100% watermelon goodness, then it’s easier to dry it in strips or pieces, rather than trying to blend it into fruit leather.

The challenge is the 92% water content that makes it too watery as a stand-alone fruit leather. Several recipe websites recommend pouring off the excess water and adding back refined sugar, but that’s not the healthiest approach.

Combined with drier fruits, watermelon makes good fruit leather. I also experimented with cooking off most of the liquid on the stove before blending the fruit.

Explore the new page:

Dehydrating Watermelon & Watermelon Fruit Leather

We’re on a roll lately with adventuring. On Saturday we’re heading to Stella Plage in Cucq, France for a week of strolling along the coast. Dominique will get a chance to speak French, the language she spoke first as a child. Cucq is on the English Channel in the north.

See you in September with a minty-fresh Cantaloupe-Pear Fruit Leather recipe and more!

Freundliche Grüsse,

Chef Glenn & Dominique

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