Big Mill Bed and Breakfast
Washing Berries in a Vinegar Wash 19 May 2013, 3:15 am
Does washing strawberries in a vinegar wash keep them fresh longer?
Everyone has an opinion. I think you should at least give it a try, then decide. I know the vinegar wash works for me, but then I think white vinegar is “gold.” We use it here at Big Mill B&B for an eco-friendly cleaning product. I also use it as a fabric softner.
So if you want to try the much-lauded and oft denied vinegar wash, here is the recipe:
Vinegar & Water Berry Wash Recipe:
• 10 parts water to 1 part white vinegar
In a large pan mix the water and vinegar. Gently add the berries and gently remove them to a colander to drain. Repeat this washing and draining.
After they have drained, remove the berries and place them on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. I place this in front of a fan or under a ceiling fan until all the berries are very dry. Sometimes I have to replace the paper towels. Some folks use a salad spinner to remove the water. If you use the salad spinner, line it with paper towels. It certainly is faster than air drying on the cookie sheet.
To store: I use the plastic containers that the berries are in at the grocery stores. Wash these containers and dry them. Put a layer of berries, a small piece of the paper towel and then another layer of berries until the container is full.
Store berries in the refrigerator, not in the crisper. My berries will keep a week; they don’t keep a week if I just put them in the refrigerator without the vinegar wash.
So why don’t you try it and see if it works for you. I also have found this does not affect the taste. You can, if you want, wash a third time with plain water. An added feature is that the vinegar kills any mold spores and bacteria. I wash all my vegetables in a vinegar wash, so all this is nothing new.
I’m curious to hear from those of you who try the vinegar wash, so let me know.
Celebrate Sage at the Sage Festival in Windsor, NC 12 May 2013, 7:00 am
Come and celebrate Sage at the First Annual Sage Festival in Windsor, North Carolina. The festivities kick off on Friday night, May 31st with a street dance downtown on Granville Street. There will be three bands, farm equipment displays and vendors and lots of stuff about sage.
Bertie County and the surrounding counties in eastern North Carolina grow 15,000 acres of Clary Sage. This sage is in the Salvia family; I remember my mother calling the red salvia that is so popular “scarlet sage.” Clary Sage is a beautiful plant that grows upright and blooms with vibrant, mostly purple flowers.
Avoca Farms in Merry Hill is one of the sponsors for the Sage Festival. Avoca Farms is named for Avoca Plantation that was located where the farms are now. Bertie County had its share of plantations including Avoca, Scotch Hall and Hope Plantation.
At Avoca, the sage is distilled, extracting a waxy material that is used in many products including expensive perfumes, to make fragrances linger longer. Sage has many uses, including medicinal.
If you are tempted to stop and pick a bouquet – don’t. Not because someone will arrest you, but because the sage flowers really don’t smell good.
Lewis Hoggard of the Windsor Bertie Chamber of Commerce said you can watch folks stop and pick a flower or two, and guaranteed about 100 yards down the road, they pitch them out. Glad they compost!
On Saturday, the folks from Avoca will host an “in-field” Sage Harvest demonstration — at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. I will be there with several cameras. Hope to see you all there.
Sage Festival, Windsor, NC, Friday, May 31st, 4 p.m. thru 11 p.m; Saturday, June 1st, 9 a.m. thru 2 p.m.
Details - Windsor Chamber of Commerce, 252-794-4277
124 miles east of Raleigh, NC
91 miles south of Norfolk, VA
41 miles east of Greenville, NC
17 miles north of Big Mill Bed & Breakfast in Williamston, NC
Thanks to Joan Daniels for these gorgeous photos.
Map from Big Mill B&B to Sage Festival (17 miles)
View Sage Festival in a larger map