If you have a persimmon tree (or at least a bunch of persimmons), how about drying them the traditional Japanese way, by skinning and hanging to air-dry? They turn into jam-like dates. It's called Hoshigaki, and it's fun AND delicious.
I was on a sundried tomato kick until I realized I was spending $5 a jar. Yikes. Without a food dehydrator, I thought I was out of luck when it came to making my own. Boy, was I wrong. I made these "sun"-dried tomatoes in the oven in 15 minutes!