Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Leftovers--What Do You Do?

I was flipping through some old links and came across this piece on singing the praises of the lost skill of leftovers from Thanksgiving. Carroll laments the lost art of reusing and disguising food, made nearly obsolete due to changing food habits, the cheapness of prepared food and preservative technology.

I admit I'm not much of a re-fashioner of food myself. My sister Dusie is very good at it--she'll add anything to a stirfry. I am a multiple purposes cook, like making soup from saved chicken carcasses and leftover vegetables. But it's seldom that I deliberately refashion something. I think last year I had some excellent lamb meatballs that I rescued from a truly terrible sauce and ate with yogurt sauce. And I often make large batches of things to eat over several days. When I was a kid we ate leftovers all the time--my grandmother's chicken soup and my mom's beef stew were especially prized as breakfast. But even 25 years ago this behavior was considered a little odd.

I'm curious about what others think--have leftovers really vanished? Do you refashion your food? Or just eat the same stuff over and over? Do you ever toss food that you just can't stand for one more day? For me it was a recent batch of chili where most of the beans had never softened--it actually hurt to eat that meal and I just couldn't inflict shards of beans on my poor gums for another lunch.

1 comment:

Cookbook said...

I do some mix of all three -- refashion, eat til it's gone, or toss. I'm about to toss leftover beef stew made from that roast I did a couple weeks ago because while it was tasty, it made me gassy. Tonight I plan to make some rice and beans and I'll have that for dinner and take it for lunch the next couple of days. It depends on if a dish is good or not.

I don't believe in "cooking for one" necessarily. You can always cook a whole recipe that serves 4-6 and freeze leftovers or just have lasagna everyday for a week. My breaking point on most foods is about 4-5 servings.