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How to Make Farmers’ Market Strawberries Last Longer

If we can keep from eating all our strawberries in a day, they go bad pretty quickly. Certainly much faster than the grocery store variety. Honestly, I take that as a sort of assurance – they’re not covered with nasty chemicals that keep them perfectly preserved. However, sometimes I want my Saturday strawberries to last until Tuesday, so I use the following technique. They won’t last for weeks and weeks, but you should get another day or so and fewer bad strawberries along the way.

  1. Sort the strawberries into three piles.
    • Pile 1 is for the strawberries that should be thrown out right away. Moldy or badly bruised.
    • Pile 2 is for the strawberries that should be eaten right away. Really ripe or starting to get soft.
    • Pile 3 is for the rest.
  2. Toss out Pile 1. Put Pile 2 in a bowl for eating today and tomorrow.
  3. Put Pile 3 in a larger bowl. Cover with a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts cold water. Let it sit for 5 minutes then rinse with cold water. This will kill the invisible mold spores or other little guys that will sabotage your mission.
  4. If you have a salad spinner, line the basket with towels and add the Pile 3 strawberries in layers – single layer of strawberries, towel, layer of strawberries… Gently spin the strawberries to dry them. If you don’t have a salad spinner, lay the strawberries in a single layer on a towel and use another towel to pat them dry.
  5. Store them in a bowl lined with a towel. Keep an eye out for any deteriorating berries, so that you can remove them before they get to the rest. One bad apple spoils the barrel!

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