Storage Tips: Tender Little Berries

Berries are delicious. They’re also fragile, fickle, little pricks. Really the best advice I can give you on this one is to eat em up, quick like. Alternately, go ahead and freeze them or turn them into a righteous compote that you can pour over everything: pancakes, ice cream, styrofoam packing peanuts, etc…

But because we all like to try and deny the inevitable necrosis of all things, here’s how to make ‘em last their longest, Death Becomes Her Style.

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THE HUGE ETERNAL DEBATE ABOUT BERRIES: TWO SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
There’s two prevailing schools of thought on this subject, as per my titular hyperbole and ten minutes of internet research.

SCHOOL OF THOUGHT ONE
The first school of thought says DO NOT WASH YOUR BERRIES UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO PUT THEM DIRECTLY INTO YOUR MOUTH.

But DO sort through them and get rid of any berries that are smooshed, moldy, or just look a little bit iffy. Prioritize consuming the ones that look the ripest first and place those at the top with the least ripe at the bottom.
Place them all in an air tight glass container with a paper towel along the bottom. The less you have to stack em within the container the better because it means less bruising.

SCHOOL OF THOUGHT TWO
The other school of thought recommends washing berries in a water and vinegar solution prior to storing them. They say this helps kill off the mold spores and bacteria that are already taking hold, thereby keeping them vital longer.If you want to continue my Death Becomes Her metaphor (as I do) then think of this like the amazing, death destroying serum Ms Rossellini is dispensing.  BUT BE WARNED: much like the movie’s heroinesyou still have to take good care of your berries if you do this. Dry them diligently with a towel, maybe even spin them gently in a salad spinner. Package them in an air tight container in your refrigerator, preferably with a lining of paper towels, as per above. 

Using one of these two methods, blueberries can last ya nearly 2 weeks. Strawberries the same. Raspberries probably 4-5 days. Crunch Berries will last past the next ice age.

ONE LAST THOUGHT:

I know those ceramic berry containers they sell at the bougie home goods stores are freaking adorable, but they are the OPPOSITE of what is going to make your berries last the longest. They’re the Banana Boat Tanning Oil ™ of berry storage, so as Andre 3K would say, “Don’t do it! Think it through! Reconsider!” 

THE END.

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Storage Tips: Cukes, Zukes and Squarshes

(My grandfather adds an r into words like squash and wash. I can’t for the life of me figure out why.)

The cool thing about writing this is I get to troubleshoot issues I’m having and then pass the info along. For instance, my cucumbers from last week are looking a little…. well…let’s just say they could use some veggie Levitra.

So, without further ado:
CUKES
Cucumbers, like tomatoes, should not be stored in the fridge. If they are they start to get all wet and narsty. It’s actually best to keep them at room temperature, and if you absolutely must refrigerate them, do so only for 1-3 days and keep them on the top shelves of your fridge where it is less cold than at the bottom.

They also should be kept away from anything that emits ethylene such as bananas, melons and tomatoes.

ZUKES
Zuchinis also don’t want to be stored in the fridge, but rather at room temperature. If you must refrigerate them, they want to be placed in a perforated plastic bag and kept in the crisper bin for not more than 5 days.

SQUARSHES
Squashes, by contrast, DO want to go in the fridge. Ideally you will store them in an airtight plastic bag (most places recommend squeezing all the air out and wrapping the fruit tightly) and then storing them in the crisper bin.

It is not recommended to warsh your squarsh prior to storing them. I’m sure my Papaw would agree.

Storage Tips: Meal Planning

Caroline and Anthony’s Chalkboard

This idea comes from Core Group members Caroline and Anthony and is a great way to help you manage your share and plan meals for the week.

Keep a chalkboard or dry erase board in the kitchen on which you write down your weekly share. You can then write down menu ideas for each item and also keep running lists of groceries to get to supplement, etc… That way everyone can pitch in on ideas, shopping and planning. 
As you finish a veggie, cross it off!