Anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows I’m big into leftovers.
If I make something or go out to eat I don’t care what’s left, how much or how little, I put it in a container and eat it the next day or incorporate it into another meal. We can’t afford to waste food, particularly animal products, because animals have died for what we are eating!
It always amazes me when people throw leftovers away, and I’m often surprised by the kinds of people I see do this: greenies, nouveau hippies – though I guess they’re really pseudo-hippies, animal rights activists. Maybe it’s because the people in my circle who fall into those enlightened groups have more money than my poor friends (for example, other bloggers and artists) who can’t afford to throw away a scrap.
When I see this I’m reminded of the line from the Staple Singers’ song, Respect Yourself:
“Keep talkin’ ’bout the president, won’t stop air pollution
Put your hand o’er your mouth when you cough, that’ll help the solution”
Saving the world starts at home.
One thing to have hanging around is a wide variety of containers – especially little ones. I buy these at Ichiban Kan, or other Asian housewares shops. They tend to carry food grade plastic containers in sizes from an ounce to a gallon.
If you have lots of them in the half-cup or so size, you can freeze little containers of sauce from whatever you’re making: braises, like short ribs or shanks, and tomato-based saucy dishes, like chicken cacciatore. You’ll be well-fixed to bust out a little sauce to serve with those fries you brought home, or leftover potato pancakes from the night before.
One little tip is to make lots of extra roast potatoes when you’re having them as a side to serve as a future dish with salad, as follows:
Roast your potatoes like so, perhaps. Feel free to add some butternut squash, which roasts up nice and sweet. Eat dinner and then save the leftovers.
Next day toss them with crumbles of a good, aged cheddar and bake, covered, or microwave, until all is hot and cheese is melty.
When you take the ‘taters out of the oven, microwave some of your frozen short rib or other gravy until it’s very hot, and pour it over the potatoes and cheese.
Serve ASAP. You will not be sorry!