Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Leftovers Matter

Crazy days ahead of and behind me. I'm feeling rather like crap, but trying to still balance work and home life plus extra rounds to the clinic for blood draws, pre-op physical and an oh so much fun, additional pelvic exam yesterday. My colleagues, boss, family and friends though are gems. No one is expecting anything, jumping in helping where they can.One thing that has been very helpful has been a fridge and freezer full of portions of this and that for quick and hearty lunches and dinners. I will never understand some peoples loathing of left overs. Granted, there are some foods that don't reheat well, but thinking ahead to how the remainders are stored, can alleviate the reheating issues. I think many foods actually taste better in a leftover state. 

This is the state of my refrigerator right now.  It isn't quite as bad as it looks as there is an excess of cans and bottles of beer, water, and soda taking up space, so I have things just sort of hanging around on shelves. Still, it needs a good clear, but first, we will make our ways through the leftovers this week for dinner. 


I got home early Monday after another clinic visit and finished my work day from home. I could do double duty, making a big goulash hot dish for dinner while working before DD had to be back to school for show choir practice, This yielded dinner for the three of us, plus two generous portions of leftovers. Goulash is one of those foods that are better the next day. DH ate one Tuesday for lunch, DD for supper. I wasn't feeling too well after my exam yesterday, so along with her leftovers, DD made the remaining  five from a box of mozzarella bread sticks, and I ate one of those. DH ate the remaining three with a leftover piece of chicken that was in the freezer from a while back. Tonight will be diners choice soup from the soup swap, with some open faced toasted cheese, using up the crusts from two different loaves of bread-the best, and remnants of multiple packages of the bargain cheese. There should still be a couple portions of soup or chili for DH and I 's Thursday lunch. The macaroni that didn't go in the goulash will be mixed with some leftover black beans thrown in the freezer after fajita's form a week or so back, tomatoes, and corn for a pasta salad, or if I add some plain yogurt and cheese, maybe baked into a vegetarian hot dish for tomorrow.

It drives DH crazy, but I save all the little plastic tubs and jars from food products. The plastics are perfect for leftovers that will be tossed into the freezer, and then into my lunch bag; I just write the contents and date with a Sharpie. I like the glass jars for things that I know will be eaten in a day or two, as I can easily see what's in what.  I don't hoard so once they've done their duty, they get recycled. I love pasta sauce and pickle jars for storing rice, popcorn, and dry beans. Who needs those expensive kitchen storage containers. 

I'm holding strong to meet the $250 grocery challenge (not counting Thanksgiving extra's). Managing leftovers is not just how I try and mange my food bill, but also my sanity on busy days.  My friends have talked about a hotdish swap, or even a leftovers swap. What are your thoughts on other peoples leftovers? What's your verdict on leftovers? Do your other humans accept or reject leftovers?


18 comments:

  1. I am a container hoarder too, particularly large yogurt and cottage cheese containers. I also keep a fair amount of glass jars as we are not able to recycle those as there is no glass market for recyclables unfortunately. I am not keen on eating others leftovers as have a hard time dealing with our own.

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    1. The yogurt and cottage cheese are perfect for sending back soups with my older daughter and the perfect size for the three of us. As for not liking leftovers, is it that the taste of the food is different or eating repeats? I'm not judging-just curious :).

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  2. I'm so sorry that you're feeling ill. I hope you feel much better soon and that you don't have to wait too long for any surgery.
    That is a very well stocked fridge! We had to go shopping yesterday as ours was looking very bare indeed. xxx

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    1. Scheduled for Tuesday of next week, and then an extra day off work, followed by a four day weekend for US Thanksgiving. I hate missing out on the holiday, but then I should enjoy December all the better. Beer is taking up almost a whole shelf, but yes, sort of obscene now, so need to make sure I manage potential waste.

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  3. It must be a thing with most husbands as mine hates for me to keep all the little plastic containers. Like you though, I use them for leftovers and small bits of vegetables or meat I cook ahead for making something wonderful later in the week. I don't see a reason to pay good money for plastic containers the same size as what I can get for free. I love all your tips for using up leftovers.

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    1. A voice of reason with me. Thank you! As I said to Cheap Trick above, the sizes of larger ones are perfect for sending food back with my daughter or one meal for the three of us. DH likes saving money, so I usually win him over with that argument. I try and reduce buying items that will be thrown, but some products,like dairy, just aren't sold in ways that don't create container waste, so better to reuse instead of buying yet more plastic.

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  4. I consider leftovers a gift, but TheHub hates eating them. I learned a long time ago if I reformat them just a tad, he has no clue he is eating leftovers and we use our food rather than waste it. It is amazing to me how he cannot recognize something put in a ramekin, nuked until it is warm, the topped with cheese and run under the broiler is not the exact thing he had for dinner two nights before. Glad he can't though!
    I am a container saver also.

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    1. That is sort of what I plan to do withe macaroni, beans, corn, and cheese. "Used" ingredients, new meal. I will say though, DH does give me kudo's for managing the waste (that he creates with his silly shopping), and he was brought up on leftovers as well.

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  5. I hated leftover salad as toms and cucumber always leave a lot to be desired the next day soggy and ugh horrid however now I make omelettes for breakfast and chuck it all in. Nothing gets wasted ever. I'm not very good at saving any containers that aren't glass. Glass jars line my pantry shelves full of mincemeat and homemade piccalilli and stuff that I hate the look of in the shops lol. I hope all goes well with you Sam and you start to pick up soon x

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    1. I finally have to ask someone. What is piccalilli? My dad loved a good mincemeat pie, and my oldest brother follows suit. I think it might be different though than UK, as it is a green tomato version.I don;t like to buy greens other than spinach unless I know for sure it will all get eaten for that reason on salads. Spinach though, I'm throwing in eggs, soups, hot dishes-anything.

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  6. Our mincemeat is dried fruit based sultanas raisins currants anything you like actually with suet or butter sugar and brandy to be used as a filling for mince pies it's traditionally a Christmas thing but we're usually eating throughout the year cuz I make too much of the stuff. Historically it contained meat too but this has fallen by the wayside over the years I think it was something to do with preserving the meat that's why you still see it with suet in. I don't bother with the suet lol. Piccalilli is a veg based spicy chutney type thing that if bought in the shops looks bright yellow yuk. Mine is gorgeous though and lovejoy loves it. I make mine with cauliflower chopped green beans shallots and courgettes but there's loads of variations spices include mustard seeds cumin and turmeric oh and a bit of sugar. Veg is salted overnight to start with. You can eat it with cheese and cold meats or pop on sandwiches and I throw some in stews and currys if I've any left over. X

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    1. That mincemeat does sound similar but not sure where our family started adding tomatoes. I think I would like picalilli but guess I'll wait for a homemade variety. Thanks for explaining.

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  7. You might like the love food hate waste website Sam- it's stuffed with ideas of what to do with leftovers with lots of recipes.
    Arilx

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    1. I've seen that site.I think they're the ones that challenge themselves to waste nothing and track anything thrown.

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    2. http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/?gclid=COXGle6rsNACFcFAGwodXnAG2Q It was set up in the UK to help households from wasting so much food.
      Arilx

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    3. Yes! It has really great ideas and inspiration.

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  8. I LOVE leftovers! Kazi will eat leftovers one extra night but that's usually it. I can work on leftover soup/chilli until they are done - they just get better with age.

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    1. After one night the leftovers go in my little plastics and in freezer for lunch a week or so later for me.

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