Thoughts on Leftovers

Since this blog is called First Date Worst Date Ever, you might think I’m talking about sloppy seconds as in second choice for a date, but I’m not. I’m talking about food in the fridge in a cute little round or rectangular Tupperware container.

My ex wouldn’t touch a leftover with a ten-foot pole.  It might be because his mom left everything on the kitchen counter overnight instead of putting it in the fridge. If you think duck is bad, try it warm and greasy from the counter on day 2.

I’m talking about all the good stuff in the fridge, –chili, stew, pie, pizza, lasagna, meatloaf – you name it. It’s better on day 2. I forgot about meatloaf.  The ex would eat that the second time around.  He loved my meatloaf so much I made it heart shaped and served it to him every Valentine’s Day.

But I digress.  If food is stored properly, leftovers can be a treat. In a big family getting to eat the leftovers is like winning the lottery.

“Any of that pie left?” you ask.

“No, I scored it for breakfast,” says a sibling.

You are out of luck – SOL.

I used to cook for my family of five with leftovers in mind. It’s a day off from meal planning when you can fall back on leftovers. Maybe that’s why my ex wouldn’t eat them. He couldn’t stand to eat the same thing twice in one week.

Some of us eat to live (me) and others live to eat (him). He loves going out for meals, but I soon learned it’s a great way to get fat.  Everything in restaurants is cooked in butter with added cream. Delicious but bad for the waistline.

And salty. Restaurant food is very salty. My ex used to add salt to everything before he tasted it. I stopped adding salt to all my recipes.

Back to the fridge.  Leftover mashed potatoes go with everything. They form the base, and you can add, meat, soup, chili, veggies, anything on top. Zap it in the microwave, and voila! Dinner.

That was another thing. Anything I microwaved was not considered cooked. Microwaves were cheaters. Real cooks didn’t use them. Welcome to the 21st century, Dude. Everyone microwaves something now and again.

I think it’s because his mom grew up on a farm, was 40 when she had him, and was used to old-fashioned cooking, cabbage in heavy cream sauce, iceberg lettuce with a tomato and a ton of dressing, you get the idea. The fridge was the ice box, the cooktop was the stove, the oven was the oven, and we already know how she felt about microwave ovens — aliens from a future time and place.

I love leftovers.  But my stomach is done with spicy anything. The spices meld better on Day 2, so if your gut can take them, enjoy!

I no long make heart-shaped meatloaf. My kids are vegetarian (won’t eat any meat) or pescatarian (will eat fish and seafood), or mammal averse, (won’t eat beef, pork, lamb, etc. but will eat poultry and fish).

The good thing is that none of them are too cool to avoid leftovers.  

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