Mary Ann's Blog

To Market to Market….Plan Before You Go

Social distancing has been a challenge when grocery shopping. It has forced us to change the way we shop, and maybe for a long time. Thinking long and hard about this, I decided that I needed to strategize a plan that works. This may not work for you but this is what I do. 
Make a plan before you leave home as to what you need. That means looking in your fridge, pantry and freezer to take stock and think about menu ideas that your family loves. Then decide what day of the week and what time the store would be less crowded. Stay away if you can from weekends. If you are a senior citizen, inquire about senior-only hours with your local store. Call the store ahead of time and ask when deliveries are made and when they restock so you won't be disappointed. Next make sure you have your mask and gloves and keeping hand sanitizer in the car is a good thing too. Plan on hitting the fresh produce and meat aisles first, then the frozen section last. 
Buying fresh vegetables and fruits with a long shelf life is probably a good idea right now. 


1) Bunch celery: take out of plastic sleeve and wrap in foil

2) Red cabbage, green cabbage, take out of plastic wrapping; wrap in paper towel and then in plastic bag

3) Beets, wrap in foil

4) Onions (keep refrigerated) will last longer than 2 weeks

5) Brussels sprouts (wrap in bunches in paper towels then in plastic bag

6) Acorn and butternut squashes does not need foil or paper. Keep in a cool, dark place

7) Whole heads cauliflower and broccoli, wrap in paper towels and then place in plastic bags

8) Carrots and parsnips, wrap in paper towels and then plastic bags

9) Sweet potatoes, all-purpose potatoes, keep in mesh bag in cool, dark place

10) Avocado (keep refrigerated)

11) Brussels sprouts (wrap in paper towels and then in plastic bags

12) Rutabaga, keep in a dark place

13) Artichokes, wrap in paper towel and then in plastic bags

14) Radishes, wrap in bunches in paper towel, then in plastic bag

Fruit that can keep for at least a week or more include:

1) Pineapple

2) Melons

3) Oranges

4) Apples

5) Bosc Pears

Extend the life of fragile fruits like raspberries by taking them out of the carton and placing them in a container lined with paper towels in single layers. They will not mold. Do the same for blackberries and strawberries.




  1. Barbara Reidinger's avatar

    Barbara Reidinger

    I also wash a lot of the fresh produce I buy in a cold water bath with a splash of distilled white vinegar, and then set out to dry before putting up in the refrigerator.. When dry, I will wrap the softer flesh produce in paper towel and then put in fridge.(Includes, pears, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and summer squashes ). Berries and grapes are washed, air dried then into containers lined with paper towels. Celery is re-wrapped in foil too. Tomatoes I keep out on the counter in a basket.. Onions and sweet potatoes are kept in cool dry place, and washed when ready to use.
  2. Judy l pechota's avatar

    Judy l pechota

    Mary Ann, I have enjoyed your programs on pbs since the very beginning. I too am Italian and your next door neighbor style of teaching can make a great Italian cook out of anyone. Love your show and any invaluable info you give online. Ciao!!
  3. Mary Ricciardi's avatar

    Mary Ricciardi

    Nice reminder of long lasting veggies. Also, always traditional recipes to remind us of our roots.
  4. Carol Marrazzo's avatar

    Carol Marrazzo

    Mary Ann: You have Never failed me over the MANY years I have followed you. I now watch your videos from Amazon Prime. Your recipes.,presentations..and telling us your childhood experiences while learning to cook with your family members just complete me. I am going to order your new Cook Book as soon as soon as I finish my visit with you.

    I was happy to finally see your hubby Guy. My Joe also has a love for gardening. I signed him up for Guy's emails.

    Thank You for being You
  5. CarolAnn's avatar


    Do you recommend plastic bags over plastic containers? I have pretty much eliminated my use of plastic bags for environmental reasons.
    So nice to see your husband!

    Thank you for the work you do! Be well.

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