Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated


I have lifestyle envy of Ann Mah. She is a food and travel writer and published author who divides her time between Paris and New York with her diplomat husband and delightful baby. She’s lived all over the world and written about her food experiences in China, Italy, and most extensively, France. Last year her memoir of eating her way around France was published, and I enjoyed reading it in the final weeks of my pregnancy when I was doing a lot of eating but not a lot of travelling. Ann’s fridge is similar to mine right now, full of half-eaten bits of baby food, but she also has a genius trick for keeping ginger fresh that I’m totally stealing. Read on to take a peek inside an international food writer’s fridge.


What’s in your fridge?

Too many small containers of half-eaten baby food. The baby gets tired of whatever we’re feeding her midway through the tupperware, so I’m always defrosting new things to tempt her and then wondering if I can mix the old stuff together to create a new flavour.
  • Lots of leftovers (so I don’t have to cook after a busy day at work). This week we’ve got roasted broccoli and kale, turkey and zucchini burgers from the Jerusalem cookbook, and a gratin of potatoes and blue cheese.
  • A big vat of lentil salad that I’ll portion out for lunches during the week.
  • Tomatoes, zucchini, and too much celery — I only needed one stalk for the lentil salad but had to buy a big bunch. Luckily I’ve recently discovered this recipe.
  • Condiments: ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, cream cheese, sandwich pickles, red curry paste, and a batch of quick pickled onions, which are guaranteed to liven up any leftover.
  • Brita filter water pitcher, bottles of seltzer, white wine, and the tail end of a bottle of Champagne, which was a special treat for our anniversary.

What 5 things do you make sure are always in your fridge?

Sriracha hot sauce, Parmesan cheese, white wine, butter, and some sort of limp vegetable that I’ve forgotten about in the crisper drawer


If you were hungry right now, what would you open for the fridge and reach for?

Probably the lentil salad. But maybe the cream cheese to spread on crackers.


What’s the strangest thing currently in your fridge?

Peeled ginger root in a jar of white wine — it’s the best way to keep fresh ginger, but it looks a bit like a science experiment.


What’s your go-to meal with the ingredients usually found in your fridge? 

Pasta with zucchini, egg, and parmesan is like a meatless version of carbonara, and every bit as comforting.


How would you describe your grocery shopping style?

Piecemeal. Living in New York, I can buy only what I can carry. I visit the grocery store several times a week.


Do eggs belong in or out of the fridge?

I want to say out. But in.


Visit Ann’s blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Buy her book Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris on Amazon.

4 thoughts on “Look in the Fridge: Ann Mah

  1. M-R says:

    I’m wondering if you’ll ever get to do some ordinary person’s frig, Amelia – it’ll be a hoot !!

  2. I am amazed by how much there is in this refrigerator. We are so lucky in Florence to have fresh food markets and delicatessens everywhere. Our fridges are typically filled with beverages. Parmigiano Reggiano and that is about it!

  3. annmahnet says:

    Thanks for sharing my fridge, Amelia! Sorry it’s so scarily messy. Good thing I didn’t share any photos of the FREEZER. Ahhhh! :)

  4. I think we all face the same things – so don’t worry about a “mess”. I might even do a post like this in the future and answer those questions!

    I thought your ginger note was interesting – I actually freeze mine because I never use it quickly enough. But when I take it out and grate it for tea or chop it to saute with other veggies the flavor is truly unchanged for me (maybe something to eliminate the experiment? lol).

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