I ended up getting a free feed yesterday, completely by chance, after a little shop on my way back from work. I picked up:

  • Butter (2,05€)
  • A lettuce (1,30€)
  • Some tomatoes (1,16€)
  • A baguette (0,95€)

It turned out that the baker was retiring, so when I went to buy my baguette – after the trip for the others – I discovered a huge buffet in the car park with loads of toasts and other nibbles, beer, and a selection of mini viennoiseries. I was invited to partake, so could have avoided shopping, really.

Obviously, there was a baguette left over when I woke up this morning so I had some toast for a late breakfast and had an afternoon in work. In the evening, I took the potatoes and green beans from Monday’s shop to a friend’s who had a magret de canard that needed eating.

You need:

  • new potatoes
  • green beans
  • a couple of cloves of garlic
  • a duck breast
  • some left-over mushrooms
  • duck fat
  • a few glasses of red wine
  • one clove of garlic, finely chopped

Boil and drain the vegetables. To the potatoes, add a nob butter and the garlic and swirl in the pan to get them nicely coated. Cover and keep warm.

Slice the fat on the duck breast diagonally to make diamond shapes. Season the duck breast. Fry the duck and the mushrooms in the duck fat for about four minutes on each side – or longer if you should really consider becoming a vegetarian – and then remove the duck and pour a glass of wine into the juice. Slice the duck and season it, then leave to stand on a hot plate while the wine and fat reduces. Season the sauce then serve the duck and vegetables on the plate before spooning the juice over the duck. Sprinkle some chives for prettiness and eat.

As you have a tree full of peaches that seem to commit collective peach seppuku while you are at work, eat as many as you can stomach for pudding.

I ended the month with 5,94€, which means that it is possible to feed yourself well for a fiver a day if you can be bothered organising meals around leftovers.

You only need to spend ten minutes shopping what’s needed each day – or every two days – to stop yourself being distracted by special offers in the supermarket.

This is good news. I am now mostly back at work, which will make this task slightly more complicated, but I intend to keep it up.