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Friday, July 15, 2011

Frugal in France: Last Dinner, Waste Not

I hope you don't think this is too prideful on my part, but I believe that i am extremely good at figuring out what to do with odds and ends of food. I hate wasting stuff. This talent is a huge money-saver too--not to mention time-saver, since it eliminates many grocery trips.

Interestingly, a news show here discussed how much food is wasted in France. The numbers were high. I can't remember exactly--perhaps 60 kilograms/person/year? The report also claimed that 50% of fresh fruit and vegetables were discarded. I can see why: food, both fresh and prepared, is displayed here. The food is beautiful but vulnerable. I wonder if the sellers make a supper of what remains unsold. I wonder what happens to all the dried bread. The news report was accompanied by visuals of mountains of beautiful produce being dumped into oblivion.

So, what should I cook? This is what we have: some eggs (left by our hosts, but hidden behind the jam), some mushrooms, some shallots, cheese of various sorts. Of course, we have some milk.

Easy! A mushroom strata, which will also use all the bread ends lying around. A strata is a savory bread pudding.

I first learned about this dish from one of Martha Shulman's cookbooks: Fast Vegetarian Feasts.

This cookbook has imho been superseded by her more recent work, such as her Recipes for Health.

One thing about Martha Rose: her recipes are always tested and so they always come out. You will not be wasting your precious ingredients if you use one of her books.


Shelley said...

I think using up food is a skill you should be proud of. I'm constantly amazed at the number of people who aren't good at it, though. I've never tried strata (never heard of it) but I looks worth a go. I can see this is a potential 'universal' recipe to do with eggs and bread pieces but I'll need to follow a recipe a couple of times to figure out how it works. Looks fairly steep in calories, mind, and for my silly list of proteins, egg and cheese count as a 'combination' night.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Shelley-You can put so many things in. I've even made one w/ canned pumpkin.

Duchesse said...

Were those eggs hidden *from* you ;)

Safe trip home!