I just polished off a Styrofoam container full of lasagna, fettucini alfredo, and grilled chicken with goat cheese–for breakfast. You see, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with leftovers. Love the
taste; hate the calories. Some foods, like lasagna, actually taste better the second time around. The problem is, leftovers in the fridge call my name. I don’t know how, but last night’s lasagna was able to communicate with my too-easy-to-entice brain, whispering “Eat me, you know you want to, eat me, already”. Now, there are certain vocalizations I’m completely equipped to ignore, like the vocalization from my conscience, urging me to “exercise”. Against the siren song of leftovers, however, I’m completely defenseless.
For my husband, a charter member of the “Clean Your Plate Club”, throwing out food, even bad food, is a sacrilege . Having leftovers in the fridge seems to give him comfort; as long as we have leftovers, we’ll never go hungry. My son and I agree, more than two meals in a row containing the exact same components is going above and beyond our gastronomic capacity. My preference is to throw out less-than appealing cuisine. Once is enough. Put the food (and us) out of our misery. During my husband’s daily inventory of the contents of the fridge, the question of “What’s happened to the leftovers” inevitably comes up. During these inquisitions, I’m torn. Am I honest with him, and confess to throwing out the undesirable food, resulting in a tirade about wasting food, and threats of cutting the grocery budget to the essentials (cheese and dog food). More often than not, I tell him that we ate the atrocious food for lunch (a little white lie), because, like Jack Nicholson’s character in the movie, “A Few Good Men”, my husband “can’t handle the truth”, and peace in the home is preserved, at least until our next meal.
Some people are able to “morph” their leftovers into a culinary creation virtually unrecognizable from the original dish, like turning roast chicken into chicken “magnifique” (a term rarely used to describe my original culinary creations.) To my credit, I have tried this Power Ranger tactic a couple of times. The results have been less than stellar. The reactions to my latest creations run from “Nice try, Mom”, to “Do we have any fast food coupons?” Let just say, Rachael Ray I’m not.
Unsuccessful at morphing leftovers, I started giving them to our dog. Often, in fact. When my son started looking up stats for the World’s Heaviest Dog in the record books to see how our dog compared, I realized the error of my ways. Fortunately, she wasn’t a record-holder– yet. After a stern talk from the vet at our dog’s annual check-up, and a prescription for doggy diet food, the dog’s no longer an acceptable receptacle for leftover disposal.
So, we’re back to the problem of what to do with all those leftovers. Restaurant portions are large enough to feed a family of four. If you’re able to convince your spouse to share a meal with you, great, problem solved. I’ve not been successful at this request, however. My husband wants an eighteen ounce Porterhouse steak, while I want chicken or fish. Finding ourselves at an edible impasse, there’s always leftovers to wrap-up.
And, speaking of wrapping up, I’ve got to wrap-up my thoughts on leftovers. My husband wants to take me out to eat–so, we can, you guessed it, have some more leftovers. And, so on, and so on…Eat it again, Sam.