Q. I buy big bags of limes at Costco. What’s the best way to store them? If I keep them in the refrigerator, they turn brown, but they seem to be moist inside. If I leave them on the counter, the rind gets hard after several days. Lemons seem to last longer in the refrigerator.
Lemons have thicker rinds, so they do last longer than limes. Keep both limes and lemons in the refrigerator. If you have a vegetable drawer, that’s a good spot to keep them from drying out. Keep them in a mesh bag or loose; a plastic bag may hold in too much moisture and cause them to rot or get moldy faster.
Limes usually will last a few weeks before they start to show brown spots. If there are just a few spots, the inside is still moist and can be used. That’s also your signal that they’re getting short on life.
Before they turn completely brown, juice them and freeze the juice in ice cube trays. Put the cubes in a resealable freezer bag and they’re ready to go when you need them. You can grate the zest and freeze that as well, or add it to the cubes of juice for more color and flavor.
Q. I recently made a recipe that called for juice from fresh ginger. I peeled a large chunk, chopped it and put it through a food processor. I got very little juice, so I ended up adding water. How do you juice fibrous ginger roots?
The trick to ginger is grating it. That breaks down the fibers enough to get plenty of juice.
There are several kinds of ginger graters, from ceramic ones to a nifty bamboo version you can find in many Asian stores. But a box grater will work too. Just grate the ginger, then gather it up and squeeze it.
A 4- to 5-inch chunk of ginger should yield at least a tablespoon of juice. If it doesn’t, it may be too dried out.
By the way, if you’re grating ginger, you don’t need to peel it. The skin is discarded with the solids. But if you do need to peel ginger, just use the edge of a metal spoon. The skin should scrape right off.