Thursday, April 30, 2009

I don't understand leftovers...

I've never understood leftovers. Grandma used to put leftover food in the refrigerator and keep it going like a fine tuned clock,  Sundays roast was Monday's, sandwiches, Tuesday's hash Wednesday's stew, until well I never wanted to see a roast again. 
Mom. having been raised on Grandma's leftovers, had a free for all day, where she put it in the refrigerator pulled it all out on Saturday and had a hodgepodge. This meant on Saturday nights we had things like chicken next to tuna casserole and it didn't always seem appetizing. 
Of course if we didn't eat it, we were admonished: "There are children starving in China!"
I personally, never understood how eating my broccoli could help the kids in China, so helpfully one day I suggested that maybe they would like my broccoli and could I please mail it to them?
Lets just say I enjoyed the rest of my dinner in a standing position. 
My Aunt Jane was more realistic. She didn't believe in leftovers and they were gone the minute they left her table, to the dogs. "that's why we have pets, dear."
My Aunt Rose flat threw them away: 
"Why would I save a baby food jar of peas, just to have it come back to me on Saturday and I have to throw it away? I'd rather throw it away,. now. "
And my Aunt Gertrude "Well, we can't waste food"
. Her solution was to put the leftovers in the refrigerator until they started growing on their own then throw them away, 
"Well, I guess I waited too long to serve these."  she sighed on refrigerator cleaning day, and joyfully throw all  the leftovers out at once. Some should have been donated to the Johnson and Johnson so the could have extracted the spores for penicillin. 
My Mother one day in an effort to make them exciting called them "made overs" She had read Peg Bracken's  "I hate to cook book and created some elaborate new recipe, which when we got to the bottom of it was still just, Sundays roast following us around. . We never got really excited about it. She ended up making new leftovers to go with the old leftovers, so we had leftovers from the leftovers left over . Did you get that?
 Me I try to make just enough to feed the family, but with our schedules we all eat at different times, my son doesn't believe in leftovers, apparently, because he eats, snacks, cooks, 24/7 so I never have to worry, anything in the refrigerator will not be there long.
And if it is and he missed it, I can just cook it and pretend its new. We are in and out so much, no one knows whats leftover or not. Isn't that why God invented microwaves?
I believe in not wasting food, but I wonder why leftovers got such a stigma? The same meal we enjoyed yesterday, today because somewhat drab because we had it yesterday. It is funny, because alot of food tastes better the second day.
Chicken tastes much better the second day. Of course hardly anyone has leftover chicken, just a leg or two and you eat that for breakfast. 
I don't think leftovers are a big deal anymore, hardly any of us have them, but it is kind of sad like a lot of things gone by.  Sitting down to the table trying to guess what the dish is and what it used to be is a lost art, I used to be so good at it. 
I was over at a friends house and we had just come back from a church youth activity, she was rushed for dinner so she opened up her fridge, I saw a ham, chicken, assorted veggies, a casserole in it. I thought, ",Well she's set." 
Karen (my friend) quietly closed the fridge picked up the phone and called out  for pizza. 
Thats the way we  handle our leftovers in the 21st century. 

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