I'll digress for a moment to say that I once read a review of one of my books in which the reviewer said she liked the book but got tired of reading the word "organic"! I won't badger anyone, but note that strawberries are on the USDA's dirty dozen list. You can't peel them and you can't do much more than rinse them. Google USDA dirty dozen and you'll find the top twelve fruits and vegetables that contain pesticides.
In any event, they're delicious. But the morning after you buy them, they look a little dimpled. You've tried leaving them on the counter, right? You've tried refrigerating them. Nothing seems to help them last longer.
There's a simple trick. It works best with a large flat food container. My favorite is a glass lasagna dish with a lid. Any airtight food container will work, but the broader the bottom, the easier this is to do.
These simple tricks will keep strawberries fresh for days.
1. Don't wash them.
2. Line the bottom of the container with a paper towel. Place the strawberries inside in little rows, but be sure they don't touch each other.
3. Place another paper towel over top of the strawberries and add another layer of strawberries. You can fit them into the little nooks created by the lower layer, but be sure there's paper towel between them so they don't touch.
4. Continue adding layers of paper towels and strawberries. If you're using a smallish container, you can roll the paper towel over a row and add more as I have below.
5. Add an airtight lid.
Just remember, don't wash them and don't let them touch each other. That's it! Now you can shop one day and make those Strawberry Shortcakes, or in my case, Strawberry Waffles, a couple days later.
And don't forget to leave a comment with your idea of the wackiest cupcake ingredients you can think of. The contest to win cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop will end fairly soon. Our own Jenn McKinlay’s Sprinkle with Murder is now out in bookstores near you!