Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How to Store Fresh Veggies and Fruits

I saw this on a blog and had to share it with my readers.  So many times we just don't know how to store fresh fruits and veggies...this will help you get it right.

There are a few things to consider: what needs to be in the refrigerator, and what needs a cool place and what can't be by other foods and stored by itself.  If you can make a few minor corrections in how you store your food, you will find it will keep longer and you will save money as you enjoy fresher produce.

Avocados       Apricots          Bananas          Citrus
Garlic              Kiwi               Melons            Nectarines
Onions            Pears               Peaches           Plums
Pineapple        Potatoes

Apples            Beans              Berries            Broccoli
Cabbage         Carrots             Cauliflower    Celery
Cherries          Corn                Cucumber      Eggplant
Ginger            Grapes             Jalapenos       Leafy greens
Mushrooms    Zucchini

It kind of comes down to which fruits and vegetables give off the natural gas, ethelyne.  Ethelyne can affect the other fruits and veggies that they are stored next to.  
You don't need to buy special bags, but you do need to know which produce doesn't take too kindly to others.

Apples - Do not wash until just before eating, keep them sealed in the plastic produce bag, in the refrigerator. They give off a lot of ethelyne gas, so don't store them next to anything else.Avocados - Keep them at room temperature.  If you need one to ripen quickly, put it in a brown paper bag along with a banana.  If it is ripe and you need to slow the ripening process, put it in the fridge.
Bananas - They produce more ethelyne gas than any other fruit.  Keep them away from other produce,   on the counter-top, away from other produce.  Once they are ripe you can stop the ripening process by putting them in the fridge, just be sure to put them in a sealed bag.  The skin will turn black, but the fruit will be fine.Beans (snap, string or wax) - Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.  Do not wash until just before use.Berries - You know when you buy berries and they look like they have a dusty layer one them...? That is called bloom, and it serves as a natural preservative.  Never wash berries until just before use.  Pick through them and throw away any berries that are bruised or molding.  Store loosely in shallow containers, cover with plastic and keep them in the refrigerator.Broccoli & Cauliflower - These need to be kept in their wrapping/packaging and kept in the fridge.  Do not wash until just before using.
Cabbage - Keep in the fridge, in a plastic bag. Do not wash until just before usingCarrots - Whole carrots?  Wash them thoroughly.  If they have green tops, cut off all but an inch.  Wrap them in a damp paper towel, seal in a plastic bag and store in the crisper drawer.  "Baby" carrots?  You can put them in a plastic container, covered in water.  Be sure to change the water every few days.  (Note: this may reduce the flavor of the "baby" carrot.)Celery - Give it a rinse, loosely wrap it in a paper towel, then tightly wrap the entire stalk in aluminum foil and keep in the crisper.  It will keep fresh and crisp for weeks.  (I actually have had celery that I bought to make stuffing at Thanksgiving still be fresh and crunchy for Bloody Marys on New Year's Day! Amazing!)
Cherries - Store in fridge in plastic bag.  Do not wash until just before eating.Citrus - Since citrus fruits have thicker skin, they are easier to store.  They'll stay fresh for about 2 weeks in the fridge, about a week on the counter.  It doesn't matter if they are near other produce.
Corn - Husks on? Store loose and uncovered in the fridge.  Husks off?  Wrap in foil and store in the crisper drawer. It will keep for 1 to 2 days.Cucumber - Store in plastic bag in the refrigerator. Do not wash until just before use.Eggplant - Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.Garlic - Store at room temperature. Whole heads will last 3 to 5 weeks, but once cloves are separated, they will last about 10 days. Grapes - Do not wash until just before eating, as they also have a bloom.  Store them in the fridge, in the plastic bags they come in, or poke holes in a plastic bag to allow for air circulation.  They say they should last up to 2 weeks.  (I have never seen them last longer than a week before getting shriveled up and gross...)Jalapeno Peppers - Store in plastic bag, in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.Kiwi Fruit - store at room temperature until ripe, then cover with plastic and refrigerate.  Will keep for about a week.Lettuces, Leafy Greens & Spinach - Wash, wrap loosely in paper-towels, then bag it... paper towel and all.Melons - Store at room temperature until ripe, then refrigerate. They will keep for about a week.Mushrooms - Do not wash until just before using.  Pre-sliced? Store in the refrigerator in their original packaging. They will last for about a week. Whole?  Store loosely in a brown paper bag in the refrigeratorOnions - Store in a cool, dry place that has good air circulation.  (Store in the fridge if you don't have such a place.) They will keep for 2 to 3 months.  DO NOT STORE WITH POTATOES.  (If next to each other they spoil faster.  Who knew?)Pears - If they aren't ripe, store them at room temperature.  Once they ripen, place them in a plastic bag and store them in the fridge.  They will keep for about a week.Peaches, Plums, Nectarines & Apricots - Store at room temperature until ripe, then store in plastic bags in the refrigerator until ready to eat.  They will keep from 3 to 5 days.  Do not wash until ready to eat. Pineapple - Store at room temperature until ripe, then store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.Potatoes - Store in a cool, dry, dark place that has good air circulation. They will keep for 2 to 3 months.  DO NOT STORE WITH ONIONS.  (If next to each other they spoil faster.  Who knew?)  Sweet Potatoes keep at room temperature for a week or in a cool dark place for about a month.
Tomatoes - Store them in a cool, dry place.  Don't store them in plastic bags as the trapped ethylene will make them ripen more quickly. Once ripe, you can put them in the fridge to slow the ripening process, but let them come to room temperature before using them. Zucchini - Refrigerate in a plastic bag.  Do not wash until just before using.

Freezing Berries:
Rinse them.
Dry them.
Place them on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 15 minutes
When the outsides of the berries are frozen, put them in a zippy bag and freeze for later.

I did that with the blueberries a while back and I'm just now down to about 1 container worth and they are just as yummy now as they were when we got them.  ENJOY!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I know you all have done a cannonball in a swimming pool but this genius took it up a notch.

Sometimes there is just no words to define, well, stupid.  Don't try this at home, please. Yikes.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Old Butch

John was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young layers (hens), called 'pullets,' and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs. He kept records, and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced. This took a lot of time, so he bought some tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone, so he could tell from a distance, which rooster was performing. Now, he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report by just listening to the bells.
John's favorite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen, but this morning he noticed old Butch's bell hadn't rung at all! When he went to investigate, he saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover. To John's amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring. He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one.
John was so proud of old Butch, he entered him in the Saint Lawrence County Fair and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.
The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the "No Bell Piece Prize," but they also awarded him the "Pulletsurprise" as well.