LEFTOVER LAMENTATIONS

This has not been a stellar week for eating in my house.  I’m not quite sure what exactly to blame it on…I have a few suspicions (well, one in particular), but in general I can say that it has been very difficult to get back in the swing of things.  Especially because, at this point in our lives, we are in a period of rather inactive waiting with nothing specific to do, and I have found that in times of aimlessness like this, I am prone to wasting inordinate amounts of time doing absolutely nothing.  Hopefully we have only one or two more weeks of this before some of our future life murkiness clears up…

Upon returning from our long trip, we spent several days grudgingly eating thawed chicken-and-vegetable noodle soup, the very same soup that seemed like such a lifesaver when we returned from traveling and there it was, ready to eat in just minutes!  Two days later, there were still several servings lingering in the fridge, and in my desperation to clear out that precious space for food that we actually wanted to eat, I threw the remaining soup in a casserole dish, spread a thick layer of garlicky mashed potatoes on top, and baked it to a bubbly, golden brown.  (This is one of my main tricks of reinventing leftovers…thankfully, it usually works.)  In this case, it was like a potato-y version of chicken and dumplings, and I was happy.

We managed to finish that off, and to replace it with…

Disaster.  I don’t know what happened.  I went to make one of my old stand-by dishes, a spinach-tomato-and-chickpea bake, a dish I have made so many times and which is so fundamentally easy in its composition that I don’t even have a recipe anymore.  And yet this time it turned out weird and watery and I still haven’t figured out what went wrong.  We choked it down the first night and then it sat in the fridge for two days while I wondered if there was any way to save it.  Last night I threw a bunch of curry spices in a pot with some chopped potatoes and cauliflower, and then added the spinach yuckiness, which resulted in a tolerable (although still not entirely enjoyable) curry.  I also put it in a nice serving dish, which is another trick I have for increasing edibility.  However, the addition of more vegetables increased the volume to such an amount that there are, again, leftovers sitting in the fridge.

I really, really hate throwing food away, even when I really, really don’t want to eat it.  But at the same time, I have a very low tolerance for food repetition, especially if it is a food that didn’t taste good the first time I ate it!  There is a good chance that this curry will languish another day or two until I give into the guilt and throw it away.  I doubt even the stray cats that live off my garbage will be interested in it!

 

P.S.  Do you have any favorite leftover-saving tricks?

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6 responses to “LEFTOVER LAMENTATIONS

  1. I feel for you! I usually freeze food and a couple weeks later, I reheat it. By then I forgot about it and I am hungry, so it works for me!
    If it does not taste good to you, try wrapping it in pita with a lof of fresh mint and tomatoes!

    • I think freezing food for later is a good option–that’s why I had the chicken soup in the first place, as I had gotten a little carried away when I initially made it and ended up with enough soup for 10 people!
      I had not thought about the pita option, that is a good idea. Tomatoes and mint go well with a lot of different flavors and I could imagine those would help cover up whatever I might dislike about the dish.

  2. We do that- throw potatoes (and cheese!) on leftover stew-ish stuff, and we call it Shepherd’s Pie. That usually works pretty good for leftover potatoes or other veggie items. Maybe you could also make it into a chili- just add extra beans and some chili powder?

    • I think cheese would have been a good addition to the chicken soup leftovers. Hungry Husband did try mixing some feta with the spinach mess and proclaimed it “better.” A chili is a good idea for the remainder of the spinach stuff, and a pretty versatile idea for other future leftovers–I’ll keep that one in mind!

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