Summer always brings sun and joy to our lives, and we’d like so much to have a bowl of fresh fruit on our table for as long as possible. Unfortunately, most foods have quite a short shelf life.
But don’t worry!We gathered some useful advice to help you enjoy fresh berries, cheese, and other delicacies for much longer than usual.
16. Berries + vinegar + water
Mix 1:10 apple cider vinegar and water. Rinse the berries in this solution, drain them, put them in a bowl lined with paper, and place it in the fridge. The solution is weak, so you won’t taste the vinegar, and the berries will last longer. More ways to preserve berries can be found here and here.
15. Celery, broccoli, lettuce + tinfoil
This one’s very simple: completely wrap your broccoli, celery, or lettuce in tinfoil. They’ll stay fresh and crispy for 2-3 weeks or longer.
14. Cheese + parchment paper
Cheese will keep better if you wrap it in parchment paper and put it in a ceramic or glass bowl. You can also put it into a plastic box, but keep it slightly open. Keep the cheese in a warmer part of the fridge. Another convenient way to store it is to grate and freeze it (see details here).
13. Apricots + compartments
The best kept are slightly unripe apricots that have no spots or other defects. If there are many to store, place them in a box, wrapping each in parchment paper. You can also use a clean container with compartments, such as an egg tray. Apricots ripen at 50-59°F (10-15°C). Ripe specimens should be stored in the fridge in a paper bag.
12. Cottage cheese + sugar or salt
Put an open pack of cottage cheese into a glass or enamel bowl with a lid. To store it in the fridge, place 2-3 cubes of sugar onto it. You can also preserve the product without the fridge: pour a layer of salt into a sterile bowl, put the cottage cheese on it, cover it with a cloth, and put a weight on top. By the way, low-fat cottage cheese stores better.
11. Grapes + rope
The best place for grapes in the fridge is the back wall. Choose late varieties, and keep the grapes so that they touch each other as little as possible. You can store them for a long time if you hang them in a dry, cool, dark, and aired room. Gardeners keep grapes for longer by stopping watering them 1.5 months before gathering.
10. Ginger + boiled water or parchment paper
If you don’t care much about the healthy properties of ginger but are concerned about its taste, store it in the freezer. However, if you want to keep it fresh for a long time, dry it a bit in the sun, then wrap it in parchment paper and place it in a dark cool place. Another way is to soak it in boiled water and place it in the fridge.
9. Meat + nettle + marinades
You can store fresh meat without the fridge for 4-6 days. For that, put nettle leaves around it (horseradish, wormwood, or nutwood leaves will also do), wrap it in a cloth soaked in vinegar, and place it in a pan or wooden box. Close the lid tightly, and bury it 10 inches (20 cm) in the ground. Rinse the meat with water before cooking. In the freezer, meat is best kept wrapped in tinfoil, and there’s also a method of marinade freezing.
8. Spring onion + bottle + freezer
A simple way to freeze spring onions is to cut them and put the pieces in a plastic bottle. Dry them a little bit before putting into the freezer. If you do it right, you can store them until winter.
7. Tomatoes + stalks up or down
Keep unripe tomatoes with their stalks down in a paper bag or in a single layer in a box stored in a cool place until they’re red. If there’s fruit nearby, ethylene will quicken the ripening. Ripe tomatoes should be stored at room temperature with their stalks looking up, preferably without the tomatoes touching each other.
6. Fish + ice
An important condition here is the correct processing after the fish is caught. You shouldn’t transport it in a plastic bag while it’s still alive: only do that when it’s scaled. Average fridges can’t ensure the right temperature to store fresh fish, but if you put it into an icebox, you can prolong its shelf life by 2-3 days.
5. Greens + water + plastic bag
You can easily store your fresh greens with a special gadget, of course, but it’s just as easily done by placing the stalks into a bowl of water and covering the greens with a plastic bag. Then put them in a cool place.
4. Apples + paper + drawer
Gather the fruit in time and keep the wax intact: it protects them from fungus. Send your apples to “quarantine” in a cool place, and get rid of damaged fruit in 2 weeks. Carefully wrap the good ones in paper or vellum (not in newspaper). If you’ve many apples, you can cover each layer with a layer of paper. Store them stalk up in a dark cool corner as far from potatoes as possible.
3. Mushrooms + box, bowl, or paper bag
Young mushrooms are the best. Clean them from dirt and rinse quickly, as their flesh absorbs water. Optionally, place them into a bowl of saltwater to get rid of insects. Lay them out on a paper towel, and cut off the damaged areas. Dry the mushrooms a bit, and store them in the fridge in a paper bag, a wooden box, or a bowl with napkins.
2. Watermelon + ash, net, clay, moss, or straw
Watermelons are best stored in a cellar at a temperature of about 35°F (2°C). They will keep there for a very long time. Wrap them in a cloth, and hang them in a net or put them on a shelf, wrapped additionally in straw. You can also cover them with clay or wax. Other options are to store them in ashes (in a barrel) or in dry moss. Watermelons last longer in dark cool corners, on a soft cushion, and turned over often.
1. Butter + oven
This ancient method allows butter to be stored for 1-3 years. Place sterilized jars onto a baking sheet, and put the butter inside them. Bake the butter in the oven (230°F or 110°C) for 15-20 minutes. Then add more butter into the jars, screw the lids, and give it another 45 minutes in the oven. Now your butter is ready! Cool it down, and put it on a shelf.