A question posed by one of the women of the French Chic group asked, when shopping and cooking for one, what would the chic Frenchwoman do? Of course, I am not a French woman, but I am a sensible, practical woman, and, French women are sensible and practical, n'est ce pas? So, the question remains, how does one shop and cook for one?
Perhaps most important are the perishable and nonperishable staples in your fridge and pantry. Everyone's list will be different; here's mine. With your staples on hand at home you can sure that anything you buy at the market can made into a delcious meal for one (or two, or more!)
First, make a list of all the fresh foods that can be purchased individually. Produce is easy--artichoke, avocado, peach, plum, apple, potato, mushroom, courgette, tomato--because most fruit and vegetables are sold individually. Protein is also easy--chops, chicken breast, petit filet, seafood--can be purchased individually as well. And don't forget foods like eggs and cheese that are perfect for individual servings. The foods on your list should be the ones you enjoy, the one you like to prepare.
Next, find a grocer, butcher, farmers market, or chain grocery store where you can buy that one lamp chop or a handful of broccoli florets. Remember, even if food is already packaged (two steaks), bagged (a pound of grapes), or bundled (a bunch of asparagus), if it's sold by the pound, you can buy only what you need. I shop at Whole Foods and the weekly farmers market, but you can just as easily shop at the neighborhood Safeway or green grocer.
Finally, promise yourself that you will buy the best quality and freshest ingredients you can afford. If you are buying one pear, make sure it is the most fragrant perfect pear you can find. If you are going to put in the effort to cook for yourself, you deserve to buy the best.
Next post: Pots and pans