Fall at the Farmer's Market

Just because the weather is getting cooler, and perhaps a tad wetter, don't forget about the bounty of produce that can be found at your local farmer's markets. Of course, this will vary depending on what part of the country you live in but here in Virginia we're seeing a resurgence of the greens - beautiful lettuce, arugula, basil, and swiss chard - as well as root vegetables like beet, turnips, and radishes. Beans, peppers and onions can still be found and since these veggies that can be 'put away' in a variety of ways buy bunches of them and freeze or can them. Potatoes, sweet and white, will keep in a cool/ dry place for quiet a while so you can stock up on these items as well.

And then there are the fall fruits that are coming in with apples being our favorite! Crisp and delicious and most markets have a bounty this time of the year. Take advantage of the great deals to buy local produce and make applesauce or apple butter. I made a crockpot full of apple butter last year and we're still eating it! It was both easy and delicious!!

This is also the time of the year to think about how to extend the summertime table into the winter months. Although we don't have to think ahead like our fore-mothers due to the advent of refrigeration and a grocery store in every town we all know that 'putting away', as our grandmothers called it, is not only cheaper but it preserves the freshness of the summer months of our local produce.

Now, I don't know how to do my own canning. My best friend does and I think she said she's put away over 40 quarts of tomoto products and 20 quarts of pepper of some sort. Then she did pints. Yep, she had a bounteous garden this year but then she decided it was enough. Personally, I'm about freezing things. I dice up and freeze onions and peppers. I've even frozen whole tomotoes which I learned you could do in Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. I also carmelize onions and freeze them.
Don't forget that you can make and freeze pesto. Use a ice cube tray to get 1 oz. portions then when you have cubes pop them out into a zip top freezer bag.

Well, there you go. So many ideas to get you started and so many Cool Ideas!


Post a Comment