Monday, July 26, 2010

Cooking for One: How would a Frenchwoman shop?

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!)

What next?

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


  1. Thank you for the list of staples. I have yet to compose mine and will print yours instead! It's perfect.

  2. Interesting ideas. While the idea of daily shopping makes sense to me,it would totally cut down on the waste, I just don't have the time. And shouldn't it be "woman who is French"? ;)

  3. I think shopping more often really is the key. We eat a lot of fruits and veggies in our home (and get nearly all our veggies right now from our CSA). But for fruit I pick up maybe 4-6 pieces of a type of fruit at a time (which will last us a couple days), smelling each to see if it's ripe (definitely a good tip for pears or peaches). By shopping for less more frequently it insures I don't have things go bad, and we can choose what looks good that day.

  4. I just came across your blog and I have to say I already love it. I just finished a cookbook for one, in a bit of a Julie/Juliet way... and am always looking for good ideas.

    I also just started a blog with recipes and tips for one, and I included a link to your blog too. :)

    If you interested in my book:

    My blog is:

    I'll be checking in soon! ;)