Thursday I crack open my favourite cookbook, peruse a few food blogs and make my shopping list. I don’t mind grocery shopping, but I like to get it all done in one or two goes rather than having to run out each time I try to cook dinner because I forgot to pick up green onions. That means thinking in advance about what I want to eat, and when I’ll have time to cook what. Monday night there should be leftovers around because I have class until 8:30; but Tuesday I’m off at noon so I can do make something then that will last me a few days.
I have cooked chickpeas in the freezer I can pull out, and there’s that puréed beetroot I’ve been itching to try. I have chicken bones ready for making stock, as well as three lonely turnips just asking to be turned into something crunchy.
My list looks like this:
First stop at the store is the produce department, what looks inspirational today? Cauliflower is 2 Euros a head, most of them look terrible but this one here – perfect. Score. Purple cabbage joins the cauliflower. If necessary one (or at least I) could eat cabbage at every meal. Perhaps not the most exciting, but it’s definitely nutritious, colourful and economical, plus, I do actually like it.
I add celery root and carrots to my basket, together with the purple cabbage they will make a crunchy slaw that can be adapted to almost any meal.
The apples smell like they were just picked and are still firm when I give them a good squeeze. I need a few for the beet dip, but I take a few more for afternoon snacks. Chicken thighs, saran wrap and a dozen eggs complete my trip. I pack it all into one bag and haul it home – luckily Antibes is small and there is never far to walk.
When I get back from the grocery store, my menu has evolved to include blanched cauliflower and roasted chicken. Prep will happen over the next three days, setting me up for a week of eating while I tackle a full course-load and continued integration into French culture. For the game plan, see Getting it Done.