Quick tips : Crisco Candle and preventing moldy berries

by M.D. Creekmore on June 24, 2013 · 20 comments

Crisco CandleThe quick tips below were both sent to me via email from Wolf Pack members.

Crisco Candle for emergency situations. Simply put a piece of string in a tub of shortening, and it will burn for up to 45 days….good to know for the zombie apocalypse.”

I didn’t have a string so I twisted the corner of a napkin into a two-inch wick. Then I pushed it into the Crisco with a pair of tweezers.

When I lit it, the flame was very weak and went out after about a half-hour. I pulled my paper wick out, turned it over and stuck it back in. It was now saturated with melted Crisco. I lit it again and the flame was much stronger and burned for hours. I don’t know how long it would have continued, but I was tired, so I blew it out and went to bed.

The key to preventing moldy berries Berries are delicious, but they’re also kind of delicate. Raspberries in particular seem like they can mold before you even get them home
from the market. There’s nothing more tragic than paying $4 for a pint of local raspberries, only to look in the fridge the next day and find that fuzzy mold growing on their insides.

Well, with fresh berries just starting to hit farmers markets, we can tell you that how to keep them fresh! Here’s a tip I’m sharing on how to prevent them from getting there in the first place:

Wash them with vinegar. When you get your berries home, prepare a mixture of one part vinegar (white or apple cider probably work best) and ten parts water. Dump the berries into the mixture and swirl around. Drain, rinse if you want (though the mixture is so diluted you can’t taste the vinegar,) and pop in the fridge. The vinegar kills any mold spores and other bacteria that might be on the surface of the fruit, and voila! Raspberries will last a week or more, and strawberries go almost two weeks without getting moldy and soft. So go forth and stock up on those pricey little gems, knowing they’ll stay fresh as long as it takes you to eat them.

20 comments

Rodger Ramjet June 24, 2013 at 9:14 am
Becky June 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Rodger Ramjet;
No i am not looking how it is made—you will ruin my favorite southern cookie recipe. No cookies for you!
Darn, there goes the apple pie crust, since I do not render lard….

Sirius June 24, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Roger,

Crisco is also great for seasoning cast iron cookware. It still smokes but not as much as vegetable oils or straight fat. It goes on easier with a paper towel too.

The article was interesting. The author finally added some sourced so I want to check those out if possible.

Linda June 24, 2013 at 9:20 am

The vinegar trick is brilliant! Thank you so much.

charlie (NC) June 25, 2013 at 8:49 am

I like that two but thinking about it, vinegar is a form of citric acid so I suspect lemon juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, etc.
would do the same thing. Vinegar is certainly the cheapest.
Thanks for the tip.

toto June 24, 2013 at 10:48 am

The Vinegar wash for Berries DOES work. I have had Great success keeping raspberries fresh for over a week in the fridge and strawberries and blueberries can go at least two weeks.

tommy2rs June 24, 2013 at 11:35 am

The crisco candle does work very well. I tend to use the smaller cans because I find them easier to work with. I’ve also made a bunch of oil lamps like the ones described in the article below. I’ve tried several oils over the years and settled on canola for lamp use as it’s cheaper and burns as well as olive. No smoke no smell. Most importantly it’s cheaper but pretty much any oil you have will work. I’ve found that pouring oil over a new string wick makes it work without the need for soaking. Oh and cooking oil does work in regular flat wick oil lamps and even in kerosene lanterns. At least it does in my old school ones.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/make-olive-oil-lamp.aspx

http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/make-olive-oil-lamp.aspx

JP in MT June 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

Thanks for the tips. I have the same “issue” with my fresh fruit, and it is now the season.

Duane June 24, 2013 at 11:55 am

The vinegar trick does have a caveat …. if you leave the berries on the counter at room temperature, they will turn bad in a day or two. Refrigeration is definitely recommended.

Ritter & Associates June 26, 2013 at 3:33 am

Vinegar and salt are my favorite condiments of all. Why? They are so good at preserving things and we all know vinegar is also a good cleaning agent. Now, I got another use of it to add on my list. That trick is pretty cool, and I agree to you. Keeping the goods refrigerated is an ideal practice.

Tom June 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Definitely going to do the vinegar and and water trick. I have heard that soaking a thin piece of material in salty water and wrapping your cheese in it will prevent mold. I have not been really successful with this. I have tried and the cheese still gets moldy. Maybe you have to refresh the cloth every few days. I know that keeping your hands from touching the cheese or placed on potential surfaces of contamination causes cheese to mold quickly also. I wear rubber gloves when I handle my cheese.

TG June 24, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Tom, I have heard that you should wrap your cheese in foil. Quite honestly, I dont know how well it works as I cant keep cheese in my house very long.

Mama J June 24, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Cheese doesn’t last long enough in our house to get moldy.

Donna in MN June 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm

I had frozen cheese sent to me and it was fine thawed out as long as it was hard cheese, not spreadable cheese..

Linda June 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm

I bulk buy cheese on sale and store it in the freezer. The only difference I have found is that if you want to grate a block of cheese, do this before you freeze it because once the cheese has been frozen and then thawed it will just crumble when you try to grate it. This is the only difference I have found between that which has been frozen and that which has only been refrigerated.

charlie (NC) June 25, 2013 at 8:46 am

Mold is a normal and natural part of cheese making.
the white “covering” on the outside of Brie is MOLD.

If your cheese gets moldy just trim off a very thin layer until you don’t see mold any more and eat it.

mindyinds June 24, 2013 at 6:42 pm

I don’t use Crisco, but I do make ghee, or clarified butter, and until recently I always threw out the waxy substance left in the pan. So, the last time, I scraped the leavings into a small can and pushed a wick down into it – it burned very nicely and made me feel that I had made something out of nothing.

wilson June 24, 2013 at 10:01 pm

When I found out how nasty crisco was for eating I used my leftovers for one of the oils in my bar soap recipe. It works great for making soap.

Shai June 26, 2013 at 7:56 am

These are some of the gems of information you find on Pinterest. The vinegar trick works on most produce that needs to be refrigerated
Like citrus fruits and apples which normally have a fairly long life, but you should see the gunk that ends up in the water when you do soak the berries and grapes! There is also another tip about wrapping the stems of your bananas with foil or Saran wrap that works as well to keep them from spoiling too fast.
Many others about regrowing other veggies from scraps, like green onions, celery and romaine. Got ginger sprouting in the herb bed now. Found that one on Pinterest as well! Lots of projects from ecycled materials, herbalism, canning, gardening, sewing, and of course prepping!

T.R. July 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm

If you pick up pilar candles , or even the 3″ votif candles , wrap them in aluminum foil . What this does is force the candle to burn up all its wax instead of either running down the sides or creating high sides …..either way the wax is wasted . This will extend your burn time by quite a bit . A 6 inch pilar candle with a single wick will burn for 5 days , 8 hrs per day . With foil , you can easily gain another 2 days of burn time with that same candle . Wrapping them in foil also has the benefit of reducing mess and fire hazards that come along with candle use .

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