This is prime cranberry season, and bags of ruby-red berries are arriving in markets from the bogs of New England and Wisconsin. Pick up a bag and give it a gentle shake. It should feel and sound like a bag of small pebbles. If you roll the bag in your hand and you can't hear the pebbles, there may be some soft berries in it. Put it back and pick another one -- or two. They freeze beautifully and will last six to eight months in the freezer.

Michael Marks is the marketing manager for FreshPoint.

(Illustration by Dave Johnson)
(Illustration by Dave Johnson)

In the Bins

Lettuce
Salinas, Huron, Oxnard
$1.49-$1.99 per head
Tips: Lettuce's shelf life is more limited at this time of year, so enjoy it as soon as you get it home.


Bosc pears
Oregon
99 cents-$1.49 per pound
Tips: The best of all baking pears, the Bosc boasts elegant color and shape, which also makes it the perfect poached pear. They bruise easily, so handle them carefully.
Bananas
Ecuador
69-79 cents per pound
Tips: Colder nights can hurt your bananas and slow ripening. Cover them with a newspaper to help keep them warmer during these cooler winter months.