The Leftover Divide - Live Like a Mensch
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Live Like a Mensch

The Leftover Divide


Photo courtesy of Anna from Eagle, WI--who totally has the pyrex I grew up with!

Recently, Donna Freedman, one of my favorite money and frugality bloggers, wrote an article about cooking with leftovers in mind for the site Get Rich Slowly.  Judging by the firestorm of commentary, you would think that Donna was giving out recipes for how best to club, cook, and eat baby seals.  People were offended!  Apparently, there is a great deal of angst over leftovers.

I suspect that this should not be news.  I have run into individuals in my life who will not eat leftovers in any way shape or form.  (I even once knew a gentleman who considered pizza to be dead to him once it had passed through the refrigerator door--ignoring the fact that cold pizza for breakfast is proof that G-d loves us and wants us to be happy.)  Many of the non-leftover eaters of my acquaintance were forced to act as the leftover vacuum cleaners in their homes as children, and are now exercising their right to eat freshly made food, darn it.  Other non-leftover eaters are the same individuals who do not like the different parts of the meal to touch each other on the plate when freshly made, and so are deeply suspicious of the likelihood of food fraternization within the refrigerator.  Others are specific about which leftovers they will not eat--stew is wonderful on days 2-17, but fish or cream sauces must be consumed within an hour of cooking.

I used to think that the difference between leftover eaters and non-leftover eaters was like the chasm between those individuals who have everything boxed up and ready to go on moving day and those folks who start packing on the day the movers arrive. It's a basic philosophical difference wherein ne'er the twain shall meet.  Or so I thought.  Then I remembered how we used to handle leftovers in my household growing up.

Each evening, my mother would make enough dinner for the four of us, plus a little extra for my stepfather to take to work the next day.  Invariably, we would find we had a little too much of something--not enough for another meal, but too much to throw away.  My mother couldn't stand the thought of throwing away good food.  So, we would carefully package the extra whatever in tupperware, place it in the refrigerator, and let it age for several weeks until it became a science experiment so heinous we would consider throwing away the tupperware with it.  Because this is how rational people act.

As the official cook, grocery shopper, and budgeter for the Mensch household, I try very hard to use up everything we make.  I'll roast a chicken one day and use some of the leftover meat the next for chicken quesadillas.  I'll throw together a quiche to use up the bits and ends of veggies we have lying around.  Soups are a great way to use up food.

And yet, I will still find myself with an unidentified food object (UFO) in my refrigerator every week when I put away the new groceries.

I can guarantee, however, that the UFO is never a forgotten slice of pizza.  Cause that goodness is eaten within 24 hours!

What leftovers can you not stomach?  Do you have to work around a non-leftover eater in your home?



No Leftovers Left Behind: Saving Money in Your Fridge said:

Pingback from  No Leftovers Left Behind: Saving Money in Your Fridge

November 1, 2012 4:25 PM

No Leftovers Left Behind: Saving Money in Your Fridge | FavStocks said:

Pingback from  No Leftovers Left Behind: Saving Money in Your Fridge | FavStocks

November 2, 2012 4:00 AM

Live Like a Mensch said:

Before we begin today's event, I must apologize for the week's worth of radio silence from a

February 19, 2014 1:09 PM

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