Leftovers

Husband and I have vastly different ways of dealing with leftovers  in the kitchen. I just eat them until they are gone.  Husband  gets bored with them and tries to improve them.  Last week he made some Italian bean soup. The recipe made a lot, and after a couple of days he added rice, leftover cooked yellow zucchini, green beans, and a jar of home canned tomatoes.  Instead of having six cups of bean soup that we could have finished in a couple of days, we  had  10 cups of minestrone that I am still eating.  The minestrone was pretty good, but most of his renovated leftover aren’t very palatable, and he ends up eating them for a day and them throwing them out.  I call those creations “glop”,  since that is their consistency and their appeal, and I am often afraid to eat them.  He has never been able to appreciate my argument that what he does just makes for more leftovers.  Boredom trumps volume, I guess.  Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to heat up some minestrone.

How do you manage leftovers? What are you afraid to eat?

 

57 thoughts on “Leftovers”

  1. We have a perfect situation here. My daughter likes to cook but is easily bored and has phobias about the safety of food that is held in the fridge. I have little money, low interest in cooking for just myself and NO inhibitions about eating food that has (like me) “been around” a while. When her cooking produces leftovers, as it always does, my daughter can dump it in the in-sink disposal or donate it to me.

    Dinner for me tonight will be leftover cottage pie. You probably don’t want to know when it was cooked. 🙂

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        1. When I make Cottage Pie and irresponsibly refer to it as Shepherd’s Pie, I like to add a sweet potato to the mashed white potatoes and I also top it with (sorry, Steve) cheese.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. I have no reservations about leftovers, as long as they pass the sight and smell tests. If it’s been in there a while, I then taste just the tiniest dab carefully, and if it passes that test, it can show up in anything. I do scan the fridge almost every day to see what can go together for in a soup, casserole, or egg back, but sometimes something will escape me, like the container of hummus I just found…. I hate throwing away what could have been perfectly good food.

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    1. I’ve been thinking on this, tim. I’ve posted before about the two summers we spent living in the basement of a fly fishing shop. The only kitchen fridge available was a sort of biological experiment on mold propagation. Green–what I called pee-green–was the most common color. Older leftovers sometimes sprouted off-white molds. The prettiest color Sari’s fridge produced was somewhere between red and pumpkin, the kind of color you see in a coral reef. And to me the most terrifying was the purple mold, which I remember as having long stalks. I never touched that stuff (and here I am today, alive if not exactly kicking)!

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      1. I do have to admit to peeling off the top quarter of an inch inside of a Tupperware container full of tomato paste and simply throwing away the mold and eating the rest but if it’s mold growing on a sandwich or a salad or a casserole I will not do that

        Cheese heck yes everyone knows you can do that with cheese

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  3. We do OK with leftovers providing we / I like it in the first place.
    Daughter had a recipe she wanted to try over the weekend. IIRC, it was called ‘Tex Mex casserole’, and I didn’t care for it; too many tomatoes. There will be leftovers that the chickens will benefit from.
    Kelly gives things a week and then she declares it “old” and off limits. I’ll give it about 8 days (assuming it doesn’t have hair on it…) and then sometimes eat it just to be contrary.

    A while ago we saw an episode of ‘Cooks Country’ where their audience declared ‘Fage’ yogurt the creamiest and best. Generally we eat the Dannon greek vanilla flavored yogurt and we like it. The Fage was plain. And neither of us could stomach it. The cherry Fage wasn’t bad, it just needed more cherry. The plain was thick, like paste in my mouth. Ish.

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      1. I find Greek-style yogurt to be too thick and sticky. My preference is for whole milk yogurt, especially kinds with cream on top. Plain is fine with me since I usually ass fresh or frozen fruit.

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        1. I make chapati with yoghurt in the dough. Greek style yoghurt isn’t as good for the finished chapati as regular, less thick yoghurt. They poof up better on the griddle when I uae regular, non-Greek yoghurt.

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        2. Brown Cow Maple Yogurt, with the cream on top is so very good. With raspberries it’s even better, although I know plain would be good with raspberries, too.

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  4. What made leftovers into glop was Husband’s fall back-“let’s just add a can of beans”. He is getting better about this. In his defense, he is a wonderful and creative cook. I just wish he could tolerate sameness and just eat leftovers as is.

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    1. tell him to stop using a canna beans and to cook up a cup and a half or 2 cups of dried beans at a time and use those in the storage as leftovers themselves I do up a large quantity of beings and then split them into chili beans baked beans refried bean mash and figure out all sorts of wonderful things to do with beams that then get frozen Tucktaway and eaten over a one month. Where you get one cup of this and one cup of that per week And it doesn’t seem like you’re eaten the same go out for seven days straight

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  5. I know how hard it is to make anything in portions for two. The obvious solution is to set aside a two-person portion when you first make something and freeze it for later, assuming it’s something that freezes well. That way, you limit the repeats on any one dish and the components don’t get multiply cooked and mushy.

    I wish I followed my own advice more often. On the other hand, I have limited freezer space, so I can’t accomodate many leftovers, no matter how toothsome. But if I had myriad freezers, that’s what I’d do.

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      1. We do have a smallish freezer in addition to the one at the top of the refrigerator. A larger one would be ridiculous for just the two of us. The trouble is that I keep it full. I like to have lots of options at hand so I can more-or-less spontaneously decide what I’m going to make for dinner without having to go out to the grocery.

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  6. The theory with leftovers around here is cook something and then eat the leftovers for breakfast or lunch until it’s gone, which hopefully is before it gets to the icky stage. The problem comes when I keep cooking stuff for supper and cramming even more leftovers onto the leftover shelf until I forget what the heck is there. I have a problem when confronted with a shelf that is crammed full of stuff – my eyes glaze over and I end up seeing nothing.

    Having a leftover shelf in the fridge and labeling the containers (I use blue painters tape so the label is easy to remove) and having a leftovers night once a week or so has helped but they still get out of control sometimes.

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      1. Part of my challenge is seeing the stuff in the back before it goes past primetime my wife does a good job on a weekly basis of rotating to put the old stuff in the front that helps

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  7. Like Renee I prefer to just eat the leftovers until they’re gone. Unfortunately I haven’t done a good job in learning how to cook for just one or two so sometimes after a few days I’m sick of the leftovers and I don’t want to eat them anymore. Then they get pushed to the back of the fridge and eventually when I find them they have fuzz and like tim that’s where I draw the line — fuzz. The bigger issue for us is not so much the leftovers of the dishes that we made but the leftover things that didn’t make it into the dish — the half of the onion, the four shallots, the bunch of broccoli. Those are the things that go bad more often in our fridge.

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    1. when they start going bad in the fridge sautee a little oil and butter it does amazing things with onions shallots and broccoli if they’re starting to wilt
      fun to try unusual spices

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  8. The fact that Minneapolis now picks up compost on garbage day has done away with a lot of my guilt for wasting leftovers. As Ben says, leftovers are good if you liked the food in the first place, but not all of the meals I cook are so delicious that I want to eat the leftovers for a few days. And if I don’t like them, usually nobody else does either and those are the ones that get icky (or ickier). Since the city will accept any food items in the compost, including dairy items and meat and bones, if I throw away leftovers, at least they’re making good compost.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Unless I make something that’s a complete flop and damn near inedible, most of our left-overs are planned. By that I mean, I’ll cook a large enough portion of whatever it is, and divide it prior to adding things that don’t reheat well. When I cook rice, for instance, I’ll often cook enough to have some left over for fried rice the following day.Things like soup often taste better the second day, so I always make a large pot.

    I don’t like wasting food, but some things just spoil very fast. With a husband that’s a big eater, it’s usually not a problem. Just before Christmas I bought a large quantity of three different Danish cheeses. One of them, a Havarti with caraway seeds, has developed an intriguing cover of mold. Considering that a lot of aged cheeses derive much of their flavor from molds, I decided to scrape off the mold to see what I had on hand. It turns out that it’s a much more intensely flavored cheese now, and I love it. Not going to toss that in the garbage, that’s for sure.

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  10. PJ is right to suggest that planning will reduce super-annuated leftovers. I sure wish I could plan better. I buy groceries based on a plan, then I get lazy and fail to cook when the plan had me cooking. Or someone gives me leftovers. Or someone invites me out to eat. I wish I could plan like PJ and stick to it.

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        1. Au contraire, Bill, it frees up time. At least at our house it does. On days when we’re having left-overs, I spend considerably less time in the kitchen.

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  11. I love leftovers. Something that can be quickly reheated is heavenly to me.

    Not very much frightens me. If it is to be reheated, it’s highly unlikely any pathogens would survive in it. If it’s a salad or something that is not meant to be served hot, I’m a little more cautious. But still not likely to throw it out, unless it’s pretty old.

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  12. I’m actually afraid of mold. And of spoiled food in general even if it hasn’t yet grown “hair.” I have a repulsive physical reaction to mold that is best avoided so I’m pretty cavalier about tossing (composting) food that is even a bit iffy.

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