I grew up in a household where meals were prepared daily, well, except for Taco Fridays, and the fridge was always stocked with fresh food. There was however, one area of the fridge that was constantly neglected; the fruit and veggie tray (aka the “bottomless pit”). Sure, there was fresh produce on the top layer, but if you dug deep enough there was always a fruit or veggie or two lingering, transforming into mush, and growing fur. And so, just as grocery shopping was done bi-weekly, so was the tedious (and disgusting) task of excavating moldy produce from the "pit." I always wondered…”Am I going to repeat the ways of my foremothers?”
Fast forward about 20 years later. While living in France I didn’t really need to stock the fridge because I survived on baguettes, cheese, and pain au chocolat. While living in England I was often too busy to prepare meals so I opted for Mark’s and Spencer’s "take-away" meals.
I learnt many lessons (not just about food) while living abroad, but I can say that everything I needed to know about food I learned in Italy (cliché but true!) I learned three important lessons:
1. Grocery shopping is done on a daily a basis. Buy what you need!
2. Even if the fridge is half empty yuo can still find inspiration to prepare a healthy meal.
3. Use up everything before it goes bad. (Obviously this is easy to do because there’s so little in the fridge.)
I am proud to say that I have become a resourceful and waste-not advocate!! The other day, while sipping my Grande Soy Tazo Chai at Starbucks, I was inspired to compile a list of cooking and storage tips that I use on a daily basis to facilitate meal prep, and to save many fruits and veggies from a short lived life!
Here’s what I came up with: