Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Saver Review


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Berry season is the best. Bright-red strawberries, plump blueberries, and delicate raspberries and blackberries — as summer goes on, it keeps on giving. Too often, though, I’ve brought berries home and had them go bad way too quickly, leaving me very sad. Which is why I was intrigued when I saw these Rubbermaid containers on Amazon. They’re best-sellers, with more than 2,300 five-star reviews.

To be clear, they’re not just berry containers — they’re containers for all sorts of produce. Fittingly, they’re sold in lots of different sizes (4.6-, 7.2-, 11.3-, 12.7-, and 18.1-cup) for berries, mushrooms, spinach, and more. Curious, I purchased a 7.2-cup container and put it to the test — leaving some strawberries in the plastic clamshell they came in (as a control) and putting the rest into the Rubbermaid container. I put them in the fridge and checked on them every day. Here’s how it went.

After just two days in the fridge, some of the berries in the plastic clamshell had mold on them. However, I’m happy to report after five days none of the strawberries in the Rubbermaid container were moldy or even looked like they were beginning to go bad.

This is because the Rubbermaid container has an elevated base so more air flows around the fruit and, as the product’s listing says, “the built-in FreshVent filter in these Rubbermaid containers regulates the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide to create the optimal environment for your fresh produce.” And, no, you never have to replace the filter!

But, it’s not just me who’s a convert! Here’s what other five-star Amazon reviews had to say about these containers.

“I will never toss strawberries or mushrooms or hopefully any other produce again. I just used mushrooms from last Friday’s grocery order in our Alfredo tonight (7 days later). They were fine. Normally they would be slimy and I’d have to throw them away … These containers are a game changer for real!!!!”

“I am so happy with this purchase. Before I bought the Rubbermaid FreshWorks Saver set, nothing I did would keep my fruit fresh long enough to eat it all. I always rinse off my fruit in a bowl of vinegar and water for 30 seconds before storing it in the fridge. That helps a bit, but I still wasted money tossing fruit that went bad too quickly. Then I found these produce containers and they took care of the problem. The containers helped extend the life of fragile berries from 1 or 2 measly days to 3 to 5 days so I could enjoy them longer.”

“I wish all my storage containers were like these. I bought kale and baby spinach at the farmers market and put them in these new containers. A solid week later they are still as fresh as the day I bought them. I’ve been tired of wasting money having to throw fresh produce away because I can’t use it immediately.”

Do you have a favorite berry storage container? Let us know in the comments!

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Lifestyle Editor, Tools

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm is the Tools Editor at The Kitchn. A professional kitchen equipment tester, she’s worked for America’s Test Kitchen, EatingWell, and Food52. Her goal: to find the best gear for your kitchen so you don’t waste time or money on anything else. She lives in Boston, MA with her two dogs.





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What is a Pie Bird?


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My grandma collected pie birds for years. I never, not once, saw her make a pie or even eat a piece of pie, but her pie bird collection spanned entire cabinets and mantels. She especially liked antique pie birds, so every time anyone in my family (and my mom has 14 siblings) went to a flea market, we’d look for pie birds. She had pie birds of all shapes — and some that weren’t “birds” at all: chefs, elephants, owls, policemen, and mushrooms.

If you need me to back up a little: Pie birds are hollow little sculptures and are used when making two-crust pies. They’re placed in the center of the pie, and are meant to poke through the top crust, acting as a steam vent that prevents pie filling from bubbling over. You don’t even have to remove them when serving; they’re decorative and you can easily slice around them.

Pie funnels were invented in 19th-century Victorian England when, according to Taste, ovens were incapable of gentle, consistent heat, causing pie fillings to blowout. The actual bird shape and “pie bird” name only came about in the 1930s when an Australian potter patented a pie funnel in the shape of a black bird. I imagine people thought, “Well, this is much cuter.”

Nowadays, you don’t see many people using pie birds. (You can thank accurate, modern ovens for that!) But they are available in vintage marketplaces like eBay and Etsy; Le Creuset even sells a cute one, and Amazon has some others available as well, including one shaped like a peach.

But, it always struck me as funny that my grandma clung to her pie birds — something so obscure and, like I said, she never actually made any pies with them. I thought, maybe, because she was born in the late 1920s, perhaps they reminded her of her childhood.

I haven’t had the chance to ask her. Because while she still is alive, we don’t talk much. She lives nine hours away and lives in a nursing home now. She’s also in her 90s, with a frayed memory that causes her to forget people’s names and faces, the day, and even what she just ate. But, if I’m being honest, we weren’t close before this happened either.

My mom had a tough time when she was growing up. Her brother and father died, separately, when she was a teenager and my grandmother remarried a man no one was fond of, to say the least. And I spent a long time blaming my grandma for the childhood trauma my mom spent years and years of therapy having to unravel.

But, a big part of me wishes I knew my grandma better. What did she think of everything that had happened? What was her childhood like? What does she want me to know? A handful of years ago, my grandma gave away all of her pie birds, to clear out her house a bit. I knew I had to have one. It would be a tangible piece of her. I picked one and have held onto it. It’s come with me everywhere I’ve lived — the house my roommate and I shared in college, my many (many) rental apartments, and finally, to the new home my husband and I just bought.

It sits displayed in my kitchen and is the shape of a pheasant, with a green head and brown body. Its yellow beak has a tiny chip in it, but I think that’s just evidence of how well-traveled it is. And yes, I do bake with it: Because, while pie birds aren’t necessary any more, every time I use it I think of my grandma. I think about forgiveness and family because, more than anything, I’d like to bake my grandma a pie and tell I love her — even if she doesn’t remember it the next day or even the following hour.

Do you have a pie bird? Tell us about it in the comments!

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Lifestyle Editor, Tools

Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm is the Tools Editor at The Kitchn. A professional kitchen equipment tester, she’s worked for America’s Test Kitchen, EatingWell, and Food52. Her goal: to find the best gear for your kitchen so you don’t waste time or money on anything else. She lives in Boston, MA with her two dogs.





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Ceiling Carrots – House Hunting


It’s not every day you find a set of fake carrots suspended from the kitchen ceiling, but that’s just another day of house hunting in 2021.

Ami S. had just about given up on her quest to buy a house. But when she walked into a Key West-style cottage in St. Petersburg, Florida, the restaurant worker and yoga instructor knew she was finally home. 

“This was our last house that we were going to look at,” Ami told our friends at Apartment Therapy. “We had our 15 minutes in there walking around and looking at all the tchotchkes and things, and I was in the bedroom and my agent was like, ‘Huh you don’t see that every day’.” 

Ami went out to the kitchen to see what her agent was referring to, only to discover a set of carrots hanging directly from the ceiling.

“I cocked my head to the right and said ‘Huh, I’m kind of in love with this house,’” Ami told AT, mentioning its additional unique features like a tiki hut, guard dinosaur, and lobster trap sitting on the roof. “Everything that this guy had in his house was a combination of me and my boyfriend. And it was like the first time I’ve looked at a house and said ‘Well, I don’t hate it.’”

Upon closer examination, Ami discovered the carrots were made from a styrofoam-type material, and were suspended from the ceiling. She posted her story on the Facebook group “Weird (and Wonderful) Secondhand Finds That Just Need to Be Shared,” and has since racked up over 20,000 likes and 1,200 comments from followers of the group who love the kitschy carrots. 

“Long time member, first time poster,” wrote Ami on May 22. “We’re buying our first house today. And we’re buying it because of these babies. Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to my ceiling carrots.”

Curious about the origin of the vegetable decor, Ami asked the home’s seller where they came from. He explained he got the carrots over 20 years ago.

“He got them at a yard sale in D.C. Apparently this little old woman put together and painted these styrofoam carrots and she was so upset because no one would buy her carrots,” Ami explained. “The seller offered to buy them off her and she was so happy she just gave them to him, and he’s had them ever since.”

Ami was so enchanted by the carrots that during the sale process, she signed an amended document that made sure she got to keep the carrots right where she found them. 

“I think I can safely say that I am likely the only person in the world who negotiated ceiling carrots into her first home purchase,” said Ami, who is currently in the process of packing up for the move to her new home. “I’m blown away that people like my ceiling carrots as much as I like them.”

Megan Johnson

Contributor

Megan Johnson is a reporter in Boston. She got her start at the Boston Herald, where commenters would leave sweet messages like “Megan Johnson is just awful.” Now, she’s a contributor to publications like People Magazine, Trulia and Architectural Digest.





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