Today’s breakfast/lunch (truly brunch without the boozy drinks) combo I whipped up in my small but mighty kitchen here in Antibes inspired this post. I used leftover bread from last night’s dinner as the base; layered in leftover sauteed Brussels sprouts, a few slices of mozzarella cheese, and frozen spinach; and topped with four eggs scrambled with about a half cup of water and voila — I have brunchy goodness that’ll be easily re-heated for the next several days and not an ounce of waste in sight.
That’s got to be one of the best habits I’ve picked up living here in the South of France: just how little food I’m throwing away on a regular basis. Back in the States, it’s pretty normal for us to hit the grocery store about every week to 10 days, spend $100+ with the best of intentions of cooking a ton of meals at home, and then inevitable, every two weeks or so… I’m cleaning out the refrigerator and throwing a solid chunk of that $100 into a trash bag.
Here in Antibes, the refrigerator in my apartment is the size of most dorm room units, and I’m also only cooking for one. I also have the better part of six+ grocery stores and markets within walking distance and a farmers market two blocks from home that’s open every day from 6:00 a.m. until 1 p.m. So I’m buying fresh items, every two or three days, and making the most of them. I’ve thrown away so little while I’m here and hope this is a habit I can stick with when I return home in May. The only complication is that it might mean more occasional trips to the grocery store, which is not nearly convenient at home as it has been here.
Speaking of the grocery shopping aspect: I do a pretty solid job of utilizing both Lowes Foods and Harris Teeter’s online ordering services, though… so I think I can easily maximize the return on the $4.99 convenience fee charged AND save the time of having to actually shop in the store, too. I’v also been stalking the inventory of RelayFoods.com and am constantly drooling over their selection, so I see a lot more of that in my future, too. I think the saved cost of not throwing away so much of our inventory week after week will well make up for any additional costs in my convenience shopping ways.