Buy local when at all possible.

Keep mushrooms in a cool dry place. Refrigerate in an open brown paper bag. Do not keep in plastic bags and never wash until ready to

use!   To Blanch your vegetables. Submerge into boiling water for a 3 minutes, remove and place in ice cold water. This process will maintain the colour of the vegetables allowing you to reheat later or use in a cold dish such as a salad.

When choosing fall vegetables, look for the ones with the darkest sheen. They will have a higher amount of beta-carotene and a better flavor.

For those of you with a musically tuned ear, give a watermelon a good thump, if you hear a b flat it is perfect!   Buying Nuts: Purchase with shells on. They last longer, taste better and are less expensive.

When purchasing balsamic vinegar, make sure it has 6% acidity and is from Modena.

Store spices in a cool dark place.