Sometimes fresh produce can be expensive, and we get used to paying the price in Ohio where the growing season is shorter. The prices at this particular produce place made my wallet pretty happy. Tomatoes were $2 a pound, most of the peppers were four for $1, and the lettuce? Those beautiful bags of fresh greenness were $1.25 per bag Ė washed and ready to eat. I think my total was $20, and I had two bags simply bursting with fresh goodness.
When it comes to canning and preserving, I will admit that Iím not much of a fan. I donít care for the process it takes to have all those jars of goodness lining the fruit cellar. If I make anything, it would be salsa or canned tomatoes Ė things we use a lot of every week. What I do like to do is buy these fresh peppers and dice them up to freeze. For us, there is nothing better than pulling a bag of local peppers out and using them in whatever recipe Iím making. My cooking is a wide range of our local cuisine, but with a bent toward Mexican-style or Tex-Mex foods. From my perfected version of Mexican rice to Chiles Rellenos, which is a huge favorite in our home, peppers and tomatoes play a huge role. For perfect rice you need perfect tomatoes blended to a perfect consistency. And the Chiles Rellenos? They are a revered dish in Mexico that took me a long time to get right. Poblano peppers are seared, scraped, dipped, and stuffed with cheese, then deep fried to perfection. A light tomato sauce goes over the top and they are simmered until the cheese oozes out. This is my all-time favorite dish from Mexico. In fact, itís what is for supper tonight.
I encourage you to get out and hunt down fresh produce. In this area itís all about putting up peaches, apples for sauce, and sweet corn. These are wonderful traditions we have. Next time, though, you make your way to a produce stand and arenít sure what some of the items are, take a chance and buy them. Google your way to some new recipes that just might become your favorites, and in doing so, broadens your taste buds along the way.
1) Here is a link to some fabulous farmers markets in NE Ohio. They are bursting with goodness. Take a day trip and discover what they have to offer. http://www.cleveland.com/taste/index.ssf/2012/06/farmers_markets_in_northeast_o.html
2) Want some great, authentic Mexican recipes? Head on over to http://www.lacocinadeleslie.com/ and try her stuff out. This is one of my favorite sites for authentic and fun recipes to try.
3) The Money Saving Mom has a great link to the website Totsy. They have $1 socks and $3 sandals with free shipping right now. http://moneysavingmom.com/2012/08/totsy-ladies-socks-for-1-per-pair-sandals-for-3-shipped.html
Published: August 6, 2012