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Thread: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

  1. #1
    Julie Bove Guest

    Default Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    How do you do it?

    I have a wooden bin that I used to use for potatoes and onions. Until I
    learned that they should not be stored together. So I bought an onion bin.
    And now I can't remember what befell it but I had to replace it. I got rid
    of it some time back when it began to break. But it also wasn't working for
    me any more because the onions were starting to go bad too soon. Now I just
    keep the onions in the fridge.

    The potato bin started not to work so well for me either. I bought some
    onions and some potatoes at Costco and they turned out to be bad. Or at
    least some of them in each bag. The onions were rotted and black and some
    of the potatoes were moldy. So I may have infected my bin, much like I
    think I may have done with my old wooden bread box.

    I say this because have had nothing but trouble ever since. I have bought
    potatoes in much smaller amounts but they always seem to go moldy right away
    when I put them in the bin. I did scrub the bin out well with soap and hot
    water a couple of times. And then after that I pretty much quit buying
    potatoes except for an as needed basis and then only enough for that meal.

    But now daughter is on a sweet potato kick. I assumed that they would keep
    well like potatoes usually do. Apparently I was wrong. I just now looked
    it up and one source says they will keep for up to 10 days. The other
    source says for a month. One source says not to refrigerate because it will
    change the flavor.

    We bought some sweet potatoes just over two weeks ago and then a few more
    last week. I had my daughter put them in the potato bin but I had her put a
    plastic shopping bag down on the bottom just in case there was a problem.

    I cooked some of them up last week. I had my daughter pick out the ones she
    wanted and she showed me something that looked gray and fuzzy on the end of
    one. It actually looked to me like a dust bunny. Which is what I told her
    that it was. It rinsed right off. I cooked the potatoes and they seemed to
    be fine.

    But just now? Ew. I bought a small net bag of Yukon Golds to cook for my
    husband later this week. My fridge is stuffed full so I decided to put them
    in the bin. Well when I opened it, I was whapped in the face with an awful
    smell. I had to get a flashlight to look in there because the bin is
    located in an area of the house that isn't well lit. And there inside was a
    totally rotted sweet potato. It had disintegrated to literally nothing but
    fuzzy, wet mush. Now it's possible that we bought one that was rotting to
    begin with. I don't know. They looked okay when we bought them but maybe
    there is something I don't know about them? The other potatoes did seem
    okay although there was some fuzz that seemed to have rubbed off on them.
    The side of the bin had fuzz growing up on it.

    Because the bin was starting to fall apart at the bottom, I decided to just
    get rid of it. I paid $25 for it some years ago and now similar bins are
    selling for $55 and up. I don't want to pay that much for one.

    So what should I use to store them in? Or should I just buy them as needed?
    I thought since they were a root vegetable that they would keep for a while.
    Apparently not.



  2. #2
    Gary Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Julie Bove wrote:
    >
    > How do you do it?


    > So what should I use to store them in? Or should I just buy them as needed?
    > I thought since they were a root vegetable that they would keep for a while.
    > Apparently not.


    I think the root veggies used to be stored in a cool cellar below ground and
    once you dug them up, you keep the dirt on them until you were ready to use
    them. Seems that they would last a long time that way.

    It's a different animal that comes from the grocery store.
    They say store in a cool, dry, dark place.
    The only place I had was in a lower kitchen cabinet.
    You take the potatoes out of the plastic immediately as they need air.
    I put them in a lower kitchen cabinet in an old easter basket.
    Some still rotted before I got to them all.

    Now, I keep potatoes and onion on my countertop. I'll put down a layer of
    paper towels, then put them all on there not touching each other. I'll then
    put a layer of paper towels on top to keep out some light which is supposed
    to be bad for them.

    Best thing, imo, is to only buy what you will use in a week. Or 2 weeks at
    the most.

    Gary

    PS - as to the real farm veggies. Last year a friend gave me 1/2 bushel of
    sweet potatoes straight from his fathers farm. They still had dirt on them
    too. I stored them in my bottom kitchen cabinet and they lasted several
    months. The last ones didn't rot, they had dried out too much to use.

  3. #3
    Julie Bove Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes


    "Gary" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]..
    > Julie Bove wrote:
    >>
    >> How do you do it?

    >
    >> So what should I use to store them in? Or should I just buy them as
    >> needed?
    >> I thought since they were a root vegetable that they would keep for a
    >> while.
    >> Apparently not.

    >
    > I think the root veggies used to be stored in a cool cellar below ground
    > and
    > once you dug them up, you keep the dirt on them until you were ready to
    > use
    > them. Seems that they would last a long time that way.
    >
    > It's a different animal that comes from the grocery store.
    > They say store in a cool, dry, dark place.
    > The only place I had was in a lower kitchen cabinet.
    > You take the potatoes out of the plastic immediately as they need air.
    > I put them in a lower kitchen cabinet in an old easter basket.
    > Some still rotted before I got to them all.
    >
    > Now, I keep potatoes and onion on my countertop. I'll put down a layer of
    > paper towels, then put them all on there not touching each other. I'll
    > then
    > put a layer of paper towels on top to keep out some light which is
    > supposed
    > to be bad for them.
    >
    > Best thing, imo, is to only buy what you will use in a week. Or 2 weeks at
    > the most.
    >
    > Gary
    >
    > PS - as to the real farm veggies. Last year a friend gave me 1/2 bushel
    > of
    > sweet potatoes straight from his fathers farm. They still had dirt on them
    > too. I stored them in my bottom kitchen cabinet and they lasted several
    > months. The last ones didn't rot, they had dried out too much to use.


    Ah... I do have some baskets I can use. I bought some black fabric that I
    had intended to use to cover the potatoes with but I never got around to
    using it.

    Our weather has been a bit on the warm side. Not much hot weather by any
    means. But not cool either. The garage is usually more cool than the
    house, but I don't dare keep food like potatoes in there due to rats. I
    don't know if rats would eat potatoes but after getting a rat in the garage
    once (door was left open) I am taking no chances.

    I see that you can cook the sweet potatoes and then store the cooked ones in
    the freezer. So perhaps that is what I should do. Buy a bunch, cook them
    all and freeze them.



  4. #4
    Sqwertz Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Have you ever considered the possibility that your house is infected
    with toxic mold?

    That would explain a lot.

    -sw

  5. #5
    Gary Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Julie Bove wrote:
    >
    > I see that you can cook the sweet potatoes and then store the cooked ones in
    > the freezer. So perhaps that is what I should do. Buy a bunch, cook them
    > all and freeze them.


    I wouldn't do that. Just buy enough that you will use in a week. Cooked
    and frozen can't be better than fresh ones.

    Storing root crops in your garage is good. I know many people that do
    that. It won't be good in the summer when your garage is hotter than
    inside, but during fall and winter, a garage is the next best thing to a
    root cellar.

    Don't worry about rats. heheh You saw only one once. Store your things in
    there and keep your garage door closed. Or put a shelf on the wall to store
    potatoes. Regardless, you'll know if a rat has been feasting on your
    potatoes.

    Gary

  6. #6
    Brooklyn1 Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    On Sun, 2 Sep 2012 03:04:40 -0700, "Julie Bove"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >"Gary" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]..
    >> Julie Bove wrote:
    >>>
    >>> How do you do it?

    >>
    >>> So what should I use to store them in? Or should I just buy them as
    >>> needed?
    >>> I thought since they were a root vegetable that they would keep for a
    >>> while.
    >>> Apparently not.

    >>
    >> I think the root veggies used to be stored in a cool cellar below ground
    >> and
    >> once you dug them up, you keep the dirt on them until you were ready to
    >> use
    >> them. Seems that they would last a long time that way.
    >>
    >> It's a different animal that comes from the grocery store.
    >> They say store in a cool, dry, dark place.
    >> The only place I had was in a lower kitchen cabinet.
    >> You take the potatoes out of the plastic immediately as they need air.
    >> I put them in a lower kitchen cabinet in an old easter basket.
    >> Some still rotted before I got to them all.
    >>
    >> Now, I keep potatoes and onion on my countertop. I'll put down a layer of
    >> paper towels, then put them all on there not touching each other. I'll
    >> then
    >> put a layer of paper towels on top to keep out some light which is
    >> supposed
    >> to be bad for them.
    >>
    >> Best thing, imo, is to only buy what you will use in a week. Or 2 weeks at
    >> the most.
    >>
    >> Gary
    >>
    >> PS - as to the real farm veggies. Last year a friend gave me 1/2 bushel
    >> of
    >> sweet potatoes straight from his fathers farm. They still had dirt on them
    >> too. I stored them in my bottom kitchen cabinet and they lasted several
    >> months. The last ones didn't rot, they had dried out too much to use.

    >
    >Ah... I do have some baskets I can use. I bought some black fabric that I
    >had intended to use to cover the potatoes with but I never got around to
    >using it.
    >
    >Our weather has been a bit on the warm side. Not much hot weather by any
    >means. But not cool either. The garage is usually more cool than the
    >house, but I don't dare keep food like potatoes in there due to rats. I
    >don't know if rats would eat potatoes but after getting a rat in the garage
    >once (door was left open) I am taking no chances.
    >
    >I see that you can cook the sweet potatoes and then store the cooked ones in
    >the freezer. So perhaps that is what I should do. Buy a bunch, cook them
    >all and freeze them.


    I don't store onions and potatoes. I buy only what I will use within
    like ten days and keep them in the fridge. Lately I've been buying
    them loose, I like to inspect each for damage and to choose particular
    sizes. Typically I will buy five pounds of spuds and two pounds of
    onions. If I happen to run out before I shop I have dehys... whenever
    I need only a small amount of onion I use dehy anyway, I hate to cut
    into an onion unless I will use it all, I never save a cut onion, no
    matter how well wrapped it stinks up the fridge, and once cut and
    stored onions taste off. When I choose onions I pick a lot of small
    ones. And lately I've been on a red potato kick.

  7. #7
    Gary Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Brooklyn1 wrote:
    >
    > And lately I've been on a red potato kick.


    Those are my favorite potatoes.

  8. #8
    Kalmia Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Sweet potatoss - I buy only what I know I plan to eat within a few days. So, they're kinda like portabello mushrooms, in my book.

    Idahos: buy 5 lb. and go thru them in about 10 days. I store em in a big plastic bin in a dark closet. I'd store in the fridge, but not enuf room. Never have one go bad. I must say, tho that at this time of year, they aren't THE best.

    Wee fingerlings et al : eat within a week.

  9. #9
    Andy Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Brooklyn1 <Gravesend1> wrote:

    > don't store onions and potatoes. I buy only what I will use within
    > like ten days and keep them in the fridge. Lately I've been buying
    > them loose, I like to inspect each for damage and to choose particular
    > sizes. Typically I will buy five pounds of spuds and two pounds of
    > onions. If I happen to run out before I shop I have dehys... whenever
    > I need only a small amount of onion I use dehy anyway, I hate to cut
    > into an onion unless I will use it all, I never save a cut onion, no
    > matter how well wrapped it stinks up the fridge, and once cut and
    > stored onions taste off. When I choose onions I pick a lot of small
    > ones. And lately I've been on a red potato kick.





    My pantry has pull out drawers on the bottom for potatoes and onions. Cool
    and dark.

    I made the mistake of buying a sack of Yukon Gold potatoes and immediately
    forgot all abut them. The old out of sight out of mind mistake. Weeks later
    I noticed a kitchen stink. A God awful stentch! But I couldn't place the
    cause.

    A day or so later I pulled out the potato drawer and thee Yukons had
    dissolved into potato "milk." P-U!!!

    After that, I'm in favor of Russets. At least they'll just go to root
    through their eyes.

    Once I put a couple Russets in the oven to bake. I forgot all about them
    and went shopping for a few hours. When I got back Russet potato aroma
    filled the air. I quickly plated them and readied the butter and sour
    cream. When I cut into them they were perfectly hollow, the meat vanished
    into thin air. That was a funny sight! I did not eat the skins.


    I buy them loose as well for your valid reasons.

    I have never cooked sweet potatoes but I loved Thanksgiving sweet potato
    casserole.

    I also defer to onion and garlic powders instead of their real
    counterparts, except for steak and a mountain of caramelized onions, two or
    three purchased loose.


    I'm more in favor of brown rice than potatoes.

    Andy

  10. #10
    Janet Bostwick Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    On Sun, 2 Sep 2012 01:54:54 -0700, "Julie Bove"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >How do you do it?
    >
    >I have a wooden bin that I used to use for potatoes and onions. snip

    I get all my potato and onion storage containers at Costco. They are
    called cardboard boxes. You need to store onions and potatoes
    separately. They need to be stored in a dark, cool and dry place and
    rotated (used) frequently. Potatoes may benefit from having something
    like a bath towel draped loosely over them to further darken the
    space. Certain times of the year are a crap shoot. Onions and
    potatoes are harvested in the fall and are in storage (dark, cool,
    dry) until they are bagged and shipped to stores. They have a limited
    storage life (over winter, maybe into spring) However, once they are
    delivered to the supermarket they are exposed to warm temperatures,
    bright light and bruising from handling. Unless you have a root
    cellar, you just need to either use them quickly or buy only what you
    need at one time.
    Janet US

  11. #11
    Gary Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Andy wrote:
    >
    > I have never cooked sweet potatoes but I loved Thanksgiving sweet potato
    > casserole.
    >


    Really? Dude, you need to try them with just butter and S&P sometime and
    not with the brown sugar and marshmallow thing. They don't microwave very
    well, imo. but baked in oven or boiled are so very tasty.

    Also, if you ever do the casserole thing again (with brown sugar and maybe
    marshmallows on top) try my mom's latest addition. Make is as always but
    add in a can of slice peaches. It works well.

    Gary

  12. #12
    Janet Bostwick Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    On Sun, 2 Sep 2012 10:13:31 -0700 (PDT), Kalmia
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    snip
    >
    >Idahos: buy 5 lb. and go thru them in about 10 days. I store em in a big plastic bin in a dark closet. I'd store in the fridge, but not enuf room. Never have one go bad. I must say, tho that at this time of year, they aren't THE best.
    >

    snip
    That's because harvesting hasn't started yet for this year's crop of
    potatoes . Soon the country roads around here will be filled with
    huge dump trucks with heaping loads of potatoes and sugar beets,
    onions too. You can get good deals on potatoes direct from the farm
    but then you have a lot of cleaning to do. Typically, farm fresh
    potatoes carry a LOT of dirt. Onions can get really cheap as well,
    but I can't use 50 or 100 pounds of onions in a timely fashion
    When driving down the road behind a sugar beet truck, you want to
    leave a goodly space between you and the truck. Sugar beets can be
    the size of a basketball or larger and if one of them rolls off the
    truck and onto your windshield, you are in trouble.
    Janet US

  13. #13
    Gary Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Janet Bostwick wrote:
    >
    > Sugar beets can be
    > the size of a basketball or larger and if one of them rolls off the
    > truck and onto your windshield, you are in trouble.


    Really? I never knew that. I always assumed that beets were the size of a
    baseball or so.

    G.

  14. #14
    Janet Bostwick Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    On Sun, 02 Sep 2012 15:11:43 -0400, Gary <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Janet Bostwick wrote:
    >>
    >> Sugar beets can be
    >> the size of a basketball or larger and if one of them rolls off the
    >> truck and onto your windshield, you are in trouble.

    >
    >Really? I never knew that. I always assumed that beets were the size of a
    >baseball or so.
    >
    >G.

    Regular red garden beets, yes. Sugar beets are a different animal.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_Beet
    Janet US

  15. #15
    George M. Middius Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Gary wrote:

    > > Sugar beets can be
    > > the size of a basketball or larger and if one of them rolls off the
    > > truck and onto your windshield, you are in trouble.

    >
    > Really? I never knew that. I always assumed that beets were the size of a
    > baseball or so.


    Why just assume something foolish when you can spout it in public,
    thereby ensuring that your foolishness becomes a matter of record?



  16. #16
    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    On Sun, 02 Sep 2012 13:36:09 -0600, Janet Bostwick
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >On Sun, 02 Sep 2012 15:11:43 -0400, Gary <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>Janet Bostwick wrote:
    >>>
    >>> Sugar beets can be
    >>> the size of a basketball or larger and if one of them rolls off the
    >>> truck and onto your windshield, you are in trouble.

    >>
    >>Really? I never knew that. I always assumed that beets were the size of a
    >>baseball or so.
    >>
    >>G.

    >Regular red garden beets, yes. Sugar beets are a different animal.
    >http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_Beet


    According to Reimers [their] sugar beets get to 3 lbs or so--- One of
    these days I'll get around to planting some mangel beets- They are
    supposed to get to 20lbs.
    http://www.reimerseeds.com/colossal-...d-mangels.aspx

    [and of course we all know that these are all exactly the same as any
    beet/chard. All are beta vulgaris.<g>]

    Jim


  17. #17
    George M. Middius Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Jim Elbrecht wrote:

    > According to Reimers [their] sugar beets get to 3 lbs or so---


    I saw some the size of a large pineapple. Looked like 5 lbs.



  18. #18
    Julie Bove Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Sqwertz wrote:
    > Have you ever considered the possibility that your house is infected
    > with toxic mold?
    >
    > That would explain a lot.


    Hmmm... If it is, I don't know where it would be.



  19. #19
    Julie Bove Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Gary wrote:
    > Julie Bove wrote:
    >>
    >> I see that you can cook the sweet potatoes and then store the cooked
    >> ones in the freezer. So perhaps that is what I should do. Buy a
    >> bunch, cook them all and freeze them.

    >
    > I wouldn't do that. Just buy enough that you will use in a week.
    > Cooked and frozen can't be better than fresh ones.
    >
    > Storing root crops in your garage is good. I know many people that do
    > that. It won't be good in the summer when your garage is hotter than
    > inside, but during fall and winter, a garage is the next best thing
    > to a root cellar.
    >
    > Don't worry about rats. heheh You saw only one once. Store your
    > things in there and keep your garage door closed. Or put a shelf on
    > the wall to store potatoes. Regardless, you'll know if a rat has
    > been feasting on your potatoes.


    But they are around. My first incident was when I heard one scratching near
    my computer. It was actually under the house. The exterminator found an
    old mole tunnel that was almost to the house and the rat finished it off.
    They were coming around monthly. We had a lot of activity here for a while
    after they tore down the farms that were near here.

    We are only on quarterly now because there was no activity. But then my
    weird neighbor moved out. He mentioned that he had rats. What we didn't
    know was that he was a hoarder. Since then there has been much activity at
    our traps. And a dead one was found in a trap. So I want to be careful.

    The one that actually got into the house was probably 4 or 5 years ago now.
    I can't remember exactly.



  20. #20
    Julie Bove Guest

    Default Re: Storing potatoes and sweet potatioes

    Brooklyn1 wrote:
    > On Sun, 2 Sep 2012 03:04:40 -0700, "Julie Bove"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> "Gary" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> news:[email protected]..
    >>> Julie Bove wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>> How do you do it?
    >>>
    >>>> So what should I use to store them in? Or should I just buy them
    >>>> as needed?
    >>>> I thought since they were a root vegetable that they would keep
    >>>> for a while.
    >>>> Apparently not.
    >>>
    >>> I think the root veggies used to be stored in a cool cellar below
    >>> ground and
    >>> once you dug them up, you keep the dirt on them until you were
    >>> ready to use
    >>> them. Seems that they would last a long time that way.
    >>>
    >>> It's a different animal that comes from the grocery store.
    >>> They say store in a cool, dry, dark place.
    >>> The only place I had was in a lower kitchen cabinet.
    >>> You take the potatoes out of the plastic immediately as they need
    >>> air.
    >>> I put them in a lower kitchen cabinet in an old easter basket.
    >>> Some still rotted before I got to them all.
    >>>
    >>> Now, I keep potatoes and onion on my countertop. I'll put down a
    >>> layer of paper towels, then put them all on there not touching each
    >>> other. I'll then
    >>> put a layer of paper towels on top to keep out some light which is
    >>> supposed
    >>> to be bad for them.
    >>>
    >>> Best thing, imo, is to only buy what you will use in a week. Or 2
    >>> weeks at the most.
    >>>
    >>> Gary
    >>>
    >>> PS - as to the real farm veggies. Last year a friend gave me 1/2
    >>> bushel of
    >>> sweet potatoes straight from his fathers farm. They still had dirt
    >>> on them too. I stored them in my bottom kitchen cabinet and they
    >>> lasted several months. The last ones didn't rot, they had dried
    >>> out too much to use.

    >>
    >> Ah... I do have some baskets I can use. I bought some black fabric
    >> that I had intended to use to cover the potatoes with but I never
    >> got around to using it.
    >>
    >> Our weather has been a bit on the warm side. Not much hot weather
    >> by any means. But not cool either. The garage is usually more cool
    >> than the house, but I don't dare keep food like potatoes in there
    >> due to rats. I don't know if rats would eat potatoes but after
    >> getting a rat in the garage once (door was left open) I am taking no
    >> chances.
    >>
    >> I see that you can cook the sweet potatoes and then store the cooked
    >> ones in the freezer. So perhaps that is what I should do. Buy a
    >> bunch, cook them all and freeze them.

    >
    > I don't store onions and potatoes. I buy only what I will use within
    > like ten days and keep them in the fridge. Lately I've been buying
    > them loose, I like to inspect each for damage and to choose particular
    > sizes. Typically I will buy five pounds of spuds and two pounds of
    > onions. If I happen to run out before I shop I have dehys... whenever
    > I need only a small amount of onion I use dehy anyway, I hate to cut
    > into an onion unless I will use it all, I never save a cut onion, no
    > matter how well wrapped it stinks up the fridge, and once cut and
    > stored onions taste off. When I choose onions I pick a lot of small
    > ones. And lately I've been on a red potato kick.


    I guess buying them as needed wouldn't be a problem now. Daughter is
    starting dance again on Tues. and there is a grocery store near her studio.



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