A Simple Trick for De-Stemming Your Strawberries

iStock/Andrew1Norton
iStock/Andrew1Norton

Whether you prefer buying them from the farmers' market or picking them from the field yourself, summer is the best time to bring home strawberries. The fruits taste delicious on their own, but if you want to add them to a recipe like a cake or pie, they require a little prep work. De-stemming strawberries may seem intimidating, but that shouldn't discourage you from taking full advantage of all strawberry season has to offer. If you have a simple tool at home, you're just a minute or two away from a batch of perfectly hulled strawberries.

According to Lifehacker, all you need to remove the stem and core from a strawberry is a plastic drinking straw. Starting at the tip of the fruit, push the straw through the strawberry lengthwise until it pierces through the top, pushing out the stem in process. Slide out the straw to admire your perfectly cored, stemless strawberry. Now that it's been hulled, you can add it to smoothies, fruit salads, baked goods, or any other dish that calls for it.

Hulling strawberries with a knife instead of a straw can be dangerous, which is why many people opt to chop off the entire top portion. This method gets rid of the leafy stem, but it also wastes a lot of perfectly edible fruit. Buy hulling it, you get a clean, ready-to-eat product while preserving as much of the strawberry as possible.

Strawberries aren't the only foods that can benefit from a handy life hack. Here are some more things you've been eating all wrong (and the right ways to devour them).

[h/t Lifehacker]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

More Than 38,000 Pounds of Ground Beef Has Been Recalled

Beef-ware.
Beef-ware.
Angele J, Pexels

Your lettuce-based summer salads are safe for the moment, but there are other products you should be careful about using these days: Certain brands of hand sanitizer, for example, have been recalled for containing methanol. And as Real Simple reports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) recently recalled 38,406 pounds of ground beef.

When JBS Food Canada ULC shipped the beef over the border from its plant in Alberta, Canada, it somehow skirted the import reinspection process, so FSIS never verified that it met U.S. food safety standards. In other words, we don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it—and no reports of illness have been tied to it so far—but eating unapproved beef is simply not worth the risk.

The beef entered the country on July 13 as raw, frozen, boneless head meat products, and Balter Meat Company processed it into 80-pound boxes of ground beef. It was sent to holding locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina before heading to retailers that may not be specific to those four states. According to a press release, FSIS will post the list of retailers on its website after it confirms them.

In the meantime, it’s up to consumers to toss any ground beef with labels that match those here [PDF]. Keep an eye out for lot codes 2020A and 2030A, establishment number 11126, and use-or-freeze-by dates August 9 and August 10.

[h/t Real Simple]