Friday, December 25, 2009

Bugged, or score another one for the rabbis

Some time back, I published this protest against what I saw as rabbis being more concerned about bugs in berries than about injustices against agunot (women whose husbands won't give them a religious divorce) and gerim (converts).

Fast forward a few years. While Malka Esther, Larry, my husband and I were talking 'til the wee hours on Erev Shabbat, Malka described the method for removing bugs from strawberries: Cut off the tops, slice the berries in half, and soak them in salt water. I didn't get all the details (such as how long one soaks the berries and how much salt one uses), and I was rather skeptical about berries being buggy, but I figured that, just in case there really are bugs hidden among the surface seeds or the interior, it wouldn't hurt for me to try soaking my strawberries. After all, we'd already concluded that filtering our water was not such a bad idea.

Imagine my shock when, back home several days later, I returned to the kitchen to empty a bowl full of salted water and strawberries, and discovered tiny black dots crawling around my kitchen countertop!

After that incident, I stopped buying lettuce because I can't be bothered washing every leaf separately, and the pre-washed stuff from the kosher stores spoils too quickly when only two of us are eating it. Pre-washed baby carrots are now my raw vegetable of choice.

Not being overly fond of strawberries that taste a tad waterlogged and salty, I've switched to frozen strawberries with a fancy hechsher (rabbinical seal certifying that an item is kosher) that says that the strawberries have already been checked for and cleaned of bugs. So now I have to haul yet another item home from the kosher stores, none of which are even within delivery range, much less walking distance.

Which brings me to yet another retirement requirement . . .


Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

ME says you basically drop the strawberries in the salt water, swirl them around once or twice, and then rinse them thoroughly to get the salt off.

She also says she'll be delighted to answer any questions, just give her a call or drop her an email.

Sun Dec 27, 01:55:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Given the way my voice sounds at the moment, calling is not the best option. :(

Say hi to Malka Esther from us. There's an e-mail in her inbox from me.

Mon Dec 28, 05:11:00 PM 2009  

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