Sunday, August 3, 2014

How to Make Your Lettuce Last Longer

Everybody in our house loves fresh crisp salads. Even the dog. But he's a dork so that is to be expected. Wait. What does that even say about the rest of us?

It would therefore stand to reason that we would decide to plant a bountiful lot of lettuce in our herb/perennial/raised bed/patio garden thingymabobagoo. Due to our exceptional planning-ahead skills, it became overdue for harvest all at the exact same minute. And what are you supposed to do with that. much. lettuce. at. one. time. sans the going to waste option?

Well, I kind of panicked a little because what is the one produce that is served but one way? Not cooked, not canned, not frozen, not dried, not anything but fresh? Well, it so happens to be that same stuff that was going to seed on the patio and would soon be going to rot in our fridge. Pinterest, however, made a virtual promise of sorts that if I were to package it all neatly into perfect mason jars it had the potential of lasting for weeks.

(Epic: "Pinterest" and "mason jars" all in the same sentence)

I dig potential.

So I cut the lettuce down, took it to the kitchen sink and thoroughly scrubbed it to death a few times because I can not stand the thought of one single aphid surviving my mad salad skills. After a thorough rinse and repeat cycle, I chopped and gently packed into a few of the many wide mouth canning jars I had recently picked up at a garage sale for three crisp George Washington's. Voila. Beauty right there.

Stuck said jars into the fridge and I'm here to say, 8 days later, that said lettuce is not a minute less crisp and fresh than it was the day they endured said brutal bathing. I suspect they have a solid week or two left before we begin to reach stages of wilt; in the unlikely event that we don't eat that many salads. I promise to update further on first hand experience on the shelf life of jarred lettuce. We have planted again, this time we're doing it in cycles. If things go according to plan, we won't be buying lettuce until a few weeks past the first frost.

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