Strawberry season

Yesterday, we got two boxes of strawberries in our csa share. You guys they are so good. There's nothing like truly ripe strawberries that are red all the way through.

bowl 'o berries

I love strawberry season. But it doesn't last long, and neither do the berries once they're in my house. While the biggest little isn't the fruit fanatic that the littlest little is, both kids will eat strawberries until they turn into one. 

The problem is that berries, especially the ripe ones, are so fragile and spoil quickly. and because I am a hoarder, and want to eat all the berries when they're around, keeping them from getting gross before I can snarf them down can be tricky. 

There are a ton of articles about how to keep your strawberries for longer, and BELIEVE ME I've read them all.  Here's what works for me. HOT water (or vinegar water), and perfectly dry berries before stashing in the fridge.

Wash the berries in the hottest water you can get from the tap. Or, wash the berries in vinegar water. OR, wash the berries in HOT vinegar water.  Ditch any berries that have any mushy spots (or, realistically, carve out the mushy spots and eat those berries RIGHT NOW), and any signs of mold (don't eat these). Then make sure they're all 100% dry before putting them in the fridge. 

To wash in hot water, you can either fill the sink with the hottest water you can stand, then let the berries sit for a few minutes in the hot water.  Or, depending on the cleanliness of your sink, put them in a colander or strainer in a SINGLE LAYER, then rinse with the hottest water you can stand. It's a bit of a pain in the ass to place each berry in a single layer, but you need to sort through them anyway to ditch the gross ones, right? Then pat them dry on the dish towel or if you could fit your whole batch in the colander in a single layer, just let them dry there.  

To use vinegar water, fill the sink with water, and throw in a solid splash of white vinegar.  Let the berries soak for a few minutes.  Fish them out and let them dry or pat them dry.  And same thing for hot vinegar water--hot water in the sink with vinegar.

The hot water and vinegar will help kill the stuff on the berries that'll make 'em go bad.  Keeping the berries dry keeps them from rotting in the fridge.  I also don't stack them too high, because then the ones on the bottom get smooshed.

Next up? HOW TO EAT THEM.  Other than, you know, cramming them in your face hole. Which also works.