What is the most you would pay for an ingredient? Not one you planned to use for a special-occasion meal, but just for your everyday cooking.
For me, the ceiling seems to be about $5 (except for meat, of course). Yesterday, I was thinking about making an onion soup that calls for a broth made from dried porcini mushrooms. It sounded good to me. Except one tiny bag of the mushrooms cost $6.99. Um, no thank you. I’m also going to avoid the pine nuts (at $23/pound right now).
In a recent post, I posited that you would spend less money on fresh fruits and vegetables if you made an effort to eat seasonally. To help us do that, the North Carolina Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services provides this very attractive chart (there is also a printable version for the refrigerator). I see that, other than peanuts, the only vegetable that’s in season all year round is the sweet potato, which explains why I’m always struggling to come up with new ways to cook them. If you don’t happen to live in the great state of North Carolina, perhaps you might find similar information at your state’s Dept. of Agriculture.