Friday, April 2, 2010


Recently, I had to clean out my refrigerator. The reason: I was out of Tupperware. I don’t own tons of Tupperware, but every piece I own was holding leftovers of something, sometimes it was unrecognizable.

One of my struggles with cooking for myself is that I hate leftovers. My Tupperware situation was evidence of that. I had dutifully put the chicken or taco meat or vegetables in Tupperware containers after making whatever it was the first time, put them in the fridge and let them sit there for weeks. OK, I do eat them at least once more, if not twice, but I never seem to finish off whatever it is. It's often the third night that I talk myself out of it somewhere between work and my kitchen. And so the food goes bad sitting in my Tupperware, taking up space in my fridge.

I still can’t quite figure out exactly why I don’t like leftovers, but I never have, it was one of the things that drove my mother crazy. Growing up, Sundays after church were frequently leftover lunches. My dad would pull out everything we had eaten over the last week, and everyone was responsible for deciding what they wanted and reheating. I typically sulked at the table before finally fixing a sandwich to avoid eating the leftover casserole from the Thursday before.

But those days of complaining about leftovers coincided with a time when I ate the same thing for breakfast every day — Honey Nut Cheerios and banana nut bread with plain cream cheese. I was so tied to having that every day that my mom used to panic when she realized we were out of one of those things. Plus, I am not a morning person so even speaking to me, much less messing up my breakfast, was a scary thought to my family.

But if it’s not about eating the same thing every day, then maybe it’s the reheating process because I seem to see baked goods and sandwiches differently than dinner meals. 

Although these days I feel like it is more about the fact whatever I cooked the first night wasn’t that good to begin with, so the second and third nights are even worse. And I don’t plan ahead to cook something else with what’s left. Honestly though, even if I was prepared with some other ingredients, I’m not that comfortable creating something without following a recipe in some form.

I know that getting over this hatred of leftovers and getting creative with what I have is going to be my biggest challenge in this. So how do you avoid leftovers? Or turn them into something different on the second night?

1 comment:

  1. So I just found your blog, through your comment on mine and I've read every post. Love it!

    Anyway, the way I avoid leftovers is to turn them into something I love. Fried rice, pizza (try leftover taco meat on pizza! YUMMY!) and omelets are some of our favorite ways to eat leftovers. If course, there's always soup, but I think that was a negative in your picky eater post, wasn't it? :-)

    So glad you've joined the blogosphere.