Take My Watermelon…. please

As anyone who entertains these days will tell you, the RSVP is a hit-or-miss art. I lucked out on my party last night – everybody who showed up had RSVP’d.  There were a few folks that I didn’t hear from at all, but for planning purposes, I assumed they were not coming.  But even so, trying to figure out how much food to prepare for a large group can be a little like trying to figure out how many jelly beans are in the jar. Advanced degrees might help, but just a little.

Last night I did pretty well. There is a little potato salad left, a few helpings of the ramen salad and enough of the 7-layer dip for a lunch or two. There are still quite a few goodies left, but to be fair, we started with A LOT (the peanut butter cup cheesecake bites that YA wanted were extremely rich so I cut them into small pieces – a lot of small pieces)!

The one place I didn’t estimate well was the fruit salad. I made a watermelon bowl, which means on top of the fruit salad, I have all the watermelon that I had to remove to make said  bowl. And I made a huge amount of fruit salad as well.  Even if you freeze the leftovers for smoothies, it’s still quite a bit.

Normally when folks leave one of my gatherings there is the usual exhortation to take a small plate of food home; last night it was watermelon. I sent home at least six containers of watermelon – but I wonder what people think when the last words they hear from their hostess as a begging “take some watermelon… please take some watermelon”!

What’s your favorite leftover?

23 thoughts on “Take My Watermelon…. please”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    And a fine night it was. We had a baby bunny show up near our table. Little did the bunny know Farmer McGregor was sitting there next to it. The fruit/watermelon bowl was quite excellent. Nonny was her usual delightful self. Thank you VS.

    Favorite leftover–pasta of almost any kind, hot dishes, soup,soup, soup.
    My usual food strategy for a work week is a big pot of soup and a meat entree big enough for leftovers to take to work for lunch. I don’t like sandwiches much, so the leftover strategy is effective.

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  2. Sounds like you’ve had a fine time with Nonny, VS. Was the party the “grand finale”?

    My favorite leftovers are the sweet kind. Pie, cake, cookies, gingerbread. I also like leftover steak (those are rare, because I rarely have steak). I love steak sandwiches. Also, a good pot of soup that I can reheat for meals for several days is great.

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  3. When I try to remember dishes I couldn’t leave alone, even though the meal should have been over, it is embarrassingly easy to find many examples. As Jacque notes, pasta dishes are hard to walk away from. Somewhat to my surprise, the dish I think calls me back irresistibly is that classic summer salad: broccoli, cauliflower, pasta, summer sausage, tomato, Vidalia onion and a wee bit of garlic. I’m generally regarded a nice fellow, but don’t get between me and that salad.

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  4. I’m not fussy — all leftovers are game for me. Although now I can’t stop thinking about those Reese peanut butter cup cheesecake bites you mentioned, and I’m craving watermelon! Glad you had a lovely party.

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  5. I do enjoy having a good leftover pasta salad on hand– so much so that I generally make it in large quantities even though there are only the two of us to eat it. It never goes to waste. These days, we have a bumper crop of fresh tarragon on hand, so I have been making a simple salad based loosely on a Waldorf salad. I use grilled chicken and plenty of chopped celery, apple (Pink Lady at this time of year), cooked pasta (I generally use farfalle (bowtie) pasta for this), sauteed minced onion, and dried cranberries. The dressing is a fairly even mixture of mayonnaise and sour cream or plain yogurt (about a cup total). I usually mix the dressing first and add to it a generous amount of minced fresh tarragon and a little salt so that it has a chance to infuse. Once everything is combined and thoroughly distributed, I top it all with toasted pecans.

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    1. Bill, I think we need to have a potluck. My black currants are ripe and I have mascarpone in the frig and ladyfingers in the pantry so pretty soon I’ll be making that rhubarb-black currant riff on tiramisu, so I could bring that. You provide the pasta salad.

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  6. Almost anything is fair game for me. Since I’m usually cooking only for two people, I try to cook meals that will serve two (with no leftovers), or I deliberately cook enough that there should be food for two meals. The trouble is that too many of the meals that I intend to fall in the latter category don’t end up that way. Husband is a surprisingly big eater for a guy his size, especially if it something he likes.

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  7. I too like just about anything as leftovers, especially soups and stews which are often better the second day, anyway. Green salads, not so much, but I’ve learned to cut up lots of everything except the greens, and then add my lettuce/spinach etc. right at the meal.

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  8. If I’m going to a potluck and I’m making something I might have to bring back home, I try to make it something that doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Cookies or fudge or something. I don’t like to have to make room for something big. I’ve had too many potlucks where I’ve made something like a cheesecake and brought three quarters of it home.

    I love restaurant leftovers, though. Italian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, whatever it is. It’s great to come home and just reheat.

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