Shopping at the Farmer's Market


What fruits and veggies are in season now, that you can get cheaply or reasonably at the supermarket or at the farmer's market? Buying in-season produce, in large amounts, can save you money, as long as you can prepare and preserve it for future use. I use my freezer as much as possible to get the most out of in-season produce bargains.

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I shop at the year-round farmers' market as well as the cash-and-carry stores, and the produce outlets, so sometimes I find good, cheap deals on produce in bulk quantities (like a case of produce). For example, asparagus and strawberries are on sale around here now. Here's what I did last year: I bought a case of asparagus at a good price. I then cleaned and blanched most of it, and froze it in quart freezer bags to use as my future side-dish vegetable for dinners. (I suppose you could preseason it, too, before freezing, with lemon-butter or even homemade white sauce.) Some of it I made into cream of asparagus soup (works well with other veggies, too), and then froze the soup in quart freezer bags. I laid the bags so they froze flat -- they store more easily that way. I used all this throughout the year, or gave some to friends and family who don't cook. Now I plan to do it all over again. Strawberries can be de-hulled and frozen for future desserts, such as strawberry shortcake, strawberry muffins, or frozen blender drinks. Sometimes I freeze the proper amounts of berries to make cooked jam later, when I have the time. Some people make strawberry "freezer jam". I have not done this myself, but maybe someone can contribute the recipe?

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Just some suggestions. Enjoy all the good fruits and veggies!

- Ness - Lakeview, NY

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