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storing celery?

pitu Nov 14, 2006 09:01 PM

I rarely use a whole celery, and it just bugs me. How should I best store this thing?

I got a big gorgeous organic head of celery this weekend; I only needed two ribs.
I cut off the tops and froze for the next pot of stock.
I'd like to use the rest in stuffing next week, but I bet it's not going to be so . . . vibrant for that long. I'm guessing it's a mistake to freeze it if I want it to be crunchy in the turkey.

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    peppermint pate RE: pitu Nov 14, 2006 09:03 PM

    I've never tried freezing celery but I suspect that with it's high water content, it won't freeze (or rather thaw) that well. I find that it can go limp quite quickly in the fridge - my best suggestion would be to cut the ribs and store in water in the fridge (partially or fully immersed).

    1 Reply
    1. re: peppermint pate
      valerie RE: peppermint pate Nov 14, 2006 09:55 PM

      Yes, store it in water in either a ziploc or tupperware and it will hold up for a while.

    2. m
      Marsha RE: pitu Nov 14, 2006 09:32 PM

      I just stick my whole head of celery in two pastic bags (one on each end) and close with a rubber band around the middle, then refrigerate. The celery should easily last a week; I keep mine forever and usually wind up salvaging the inner parts for soup.

      1. s
        SarahEats RE: pitu Nov 14, 2006 09:39 PM

        I'm with you on the insanity of buying a whole head and needing only two stalks. Drives me bonkers.

        I definitely wouldn't freeze it. I've found that celery lasts quite awhile in the fridge if you keep it in the crisper drawer.

        I also read somewhere that you can refresh celery that's a little limp by running it under cold water.

        4 Replies
        1. re: SarahEats
          erica RE: SarahEats Nov 14, 2006 09:46 PM

          This doesn't help you but I was happy to see that in French markets, you can buy it by the stalk. Good idea but not likely one that will take hold here.

          1. re: erica
            RiJaAr RE: erica Nov 18, 2006 02:59 AM

            quite a few stores here sell it by the stalk as well, quite handy, i never use more than a few stalks

          2. re: SarahEats
            Mother of four RE: SarahEats Sep 12, 2012 05:47 AM

            You can refresh it by cutting it up and putting it in a bowl of ice water. Will be as crisp as when you first bought it.

            1. re: Mother of four
              scubadoo97 RE: Mother of four Sep 12, 2012 05:49 AM

              If not crisper

          3. b
            birddogfoodie RE: pitu Nov 14, 2006 09:50 PM

            I often buy it from the salad bar at the grocery store. That way I can buy just as much as I need. Sometimes they have even chopped it for me.
            In produce sections that sell it by the pound, I'll wait until nobody is looking and just pull off what I need. When the cashier gives me a funny look I just look at her like a cow looking at a new gate....

            4 Replies
            1. re: birddogfoodie
              Marsha RE: birddogfoodie Nov 14, 2006 10:45 PM

              . . . "like a cow looking at a new gate" - wonderful! I'll file that right along with "like a duck looking at thunder."

              1. re: Marsha
                birddogfoodie RE: Marsha Nov 18, 2006 01:26 AM

                Yeah, it's pretty good. I give that look to my wife all of the time. It usually follows the question "does this dress make me look....."

              2. re: birddogfoodie
                FrankJBN RE: birddogfoodie Sep 12, 2012 06:30 AM

                "often buy it from the salad bar at the grocery store"

                That makes sense - it's only $6 a pound that way.

                1. re: FrankJBN
                  Jackie007 RE: FrankJBN Sep 13, 2012 01:47 AM

                  Yep, it's totally brilliant. I'd rather buy a whole head than pay $6/lb for it. Plus it keeps a long time if wrapped up in foil.

              3. g
                Gail RE: pitu Nov 14, 2006 09:55 PM

                Cut it into properly sized stalks, wash, drain, wrap it tightly in foil and keep in crisper.

                1. a
                  AnneM RE: pitu Nov 14, 2006 10:04 PM

                  I keep trimmed stalks in the fridge in a tall tupperware container with some water. It keeps for a couple of weeks.

                  1. Cynsa RE: pitu Nov 14, 2006 10:06 PM

                    this is one of those "best" chowhound tips (like fresh strawberries stored in jars with lids)
                    Wrap the celery bunch in aluminum foil - it stays crisp for weeks! Tear a long sheet of foil from the roll twice the length of the celery bunch, fold in half, sealing the celery inside the "envelope" package.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Cynsa
                      rworange RE: Cynsa Nov 14, 2006 10:24 PM

                      Really. The celery in aluminum foil is the best. Lasts for weeks without going limp.

                      1. re: rworange
                        prunefeet RE: rworange Nov 15, 2006 09:04 PM

                        YES, this really works. Stays crisp. Amazing.

                      2. re: Cynsa
                        FrankJBN RE: Cynsa Sep 12, 2012 06:34 AM

                        SIgn me up on the aluminum foil and crisper team. Works very well as noted for weeks.

                        The other solution - eat the damned celery.

                      3. d
                        dcook RE: pitu Nov 14, 2006 10:10 PM

                        The local Safeway (of all places) sells celery (and even carrots) individually. I know what you mean about buying a whole gorgeous head of it, and then seeing it go to waste. Freezing is not recommended, but prepping and then submerging the stalks in water in a container really does work. Ready to eat, I find I go through it quicker as I will snack on them as often as using them in a salad or cooking...

                        1. SweetPea RE: pitu Nov 14, 2006 11:17 PM


                          1. g
                            Griller RE: pitu Nov 15, 2006 09:06 PM

                            Make many Bloody Marys and drink them copiously!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Griller
                              Chowsmurf RE: Griller Nov 15, 2006 10:53 PM

                              Griller wins. This is really the only logical solution. :)

                            2. n
                              niki rothman RE: pitu Nov 15, 2006 10:33 PM

                              Actually, celery keeps for like 2 weeks easily in the produce drawer, in a sealed plastic bag. Just cut off any browned edges. It, and carrots, are the most durable vegetables. Another way to keep it is to cut the bunch near the root end and submerge in a crock of water in the back of your fridge, this is a great way to keep herbs like parsley fresh too.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: niki rothman
                                rworange RE: niki rothman Nov 15, 2006 10:40 PM

                                I gotta disagree with you on this one. Maybe it is different fridges or temperatures but both carrots and celery start to go limp and soft after a few days for me. That was in a few fridges and crisper drawers. That's why the aluminum foil thing blew me away because it always annoyed me to throw celery away or be forced to use it for soup immediately.

                                Have some fresh mint that has been in a glass jar in my fridge for about a few weeks now and is still fresh and pretty.

                              2. b
                                Bahb RE: pitu Nov 15, 2006 11:54 PM

                                I cut off the waste at both ends, trash the outer 2 or 3 layers of big, tough and stringy stalks, then wrap the remainder in a kitchen towel, dampen the whole thing under the faucet, store in the crisper drawer. Usually I keep all salad fixings in the same drawer, all cleaned and drained, under one big damp dish towel.

                                It takes practice, to be able to trash so much of a head of celery, but when you only store the parts you REALLY like to eat, you'd be surprised how fast you use it up. It lasts at least 2 weeks when kept in the dampened towel.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Bahb
                                  applehome RE: Bahb Nov 18, 2006 04:49 AM

                                  Waste not... use the outer pieces & shrubbery in your chicken stock - who cares how stringy or rubbery it gets if you're just using it in stock and tossing anyway.

                                2. prunefeet RE: pitu Nov 16, 2006 09:09 PM

                                  I repeat, FOIL! FOIL! Works like a charm!

                                  1. j
                                    Jimbosox04 RE: pitu Nov 18, 2006 02:13 AM

                                    yep, Foil or even wrap it in paper towels and then place inside a storage bag, thanks Rachael Ray !!

                                    1. d
                                      DesignRox1103 RE: pitu Sep 12, 2012 04:28 AM

                                      I have no problem using a whole bunch of celery just between my husband and me. Of course soup is usually a given choice. I also use stalks of celery cut into three inch pieces, laid out with Tahini with some lemon juice and a bit of paprika on top to dip into. And some black olives accompanying it. And then He does love celery with chunky peanut butter too. What about the rest of you? What do you like on your celery? It's a great vegetable to top with Hummus too.

                                      1. scubadoo97 RE: pitu Sep 12, 2012 05:54 AM

                                        Consider other uses. I've used it sliced thin on the bias for a celery based salad. Also used this same sliced celery sautéed with a few other veggies as a topping for fish.

                                        Just try to work it into other applications and you will be happily surprised at the results

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: scubadoo97
                                          DesignRox1103 RE: scubadoo97 Sep 12, 2012 06:10 AM

                                          Thanks, good suggestions ...

                                        2. Bryan Pepperseed RE: pitu Sep 13, 2012 05:13 AM

                                          I assume that the OP's 2006 celery is long gone, but as long as the tread has been revived....

                                          What I do (which I probably learned somewhere here on Chow) is store it in a (albeit large) vase with an inch or so of water and cover the top with a plastic bag and a rubber band. - Cheap shower cap from the dollar store works too.

                                          Lasts for weeks - especially if you change the water once in awhile and/or take a thin slice off the root end to expose "fresh root".

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