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July 8, 2009 at 8:59 AM

Got leftovers? I’ll share mine, if you share yours

“The Question of Leftovers Is Ever Fresh” according to today’s New York Times. I won’t disagree. The story, focusing on our eating habits and collective food collections, is a tale of leftover largess well worth reading. Highlights include a Frenchwoman’s penchant for serving (and serving, and serving) lentils, the custody rights of a neighbor’s gift of Costco-bought cheese, and songstress Patti LaBelle’s cast-iron grip on her Tupperware collection — as well as other leftover-food for thought.

Unlike my best friend, who regularly rummages in her fridge in search of a leftovers-lunch or fixings for what she calls “fuzzy-food night,” I am not big on do-overs — unless it’s Chinese takeout, which I’ll eat hot or cold, sitting down or standing at the sink, chopsticks in hand. But I proudly admit to saving the schmutzy schmaltz from a roast chicken’s roasting pan to use as a “leftover” sauce tossed with pasta, and simmering the bird’s spent carcass to make broth — best eaten with a handful of fresh Chinese egg noodles boiled for the occasion.

OK, I admit it: this “before” (Sunday night) and “after” (Wednesday morning) situation below looks mighty promising. I’m envisioning cold lamb roast, sliced, with a little TJ’s spicy tomato chutney, stuffed in a kaiser roll:

Mac — whose mother has leftovers from 1973 in her refrigerator — isn’t crazy about retread-eats either, though Nate won’t hesitate to forage for not-quite-fuzzy food. He’ll probably knock back last night’s taco fixins’ after camp today. We’ve all noticed that ever since our well-fed dog Maia Wolfe went over the Rainbow Bridge, we’ve had far more leftovers than we used to. That said, like any family that cooks at home, our fridge is usually stocked with plenty of inventory. Here’s what we’ve got stored in Ziploc bags and storage containers, wrapped in aluminum foil and Saran Wrap and hiding in bins and behind the condiments:

Lunch, dinner or science project? We’ll see.

This morning’s inventory — described for your prurient perusing pleasure — is (front-and-center, starting bottom right) some kind of spicy noodles from Judy Fu’s Snappy Dragon from Mac’s lunch with a client; saffron rice (in container) and a hunk of roast lamb (in bagged foil) from Sunday’s feast with friends; wan-looking campanelle pasta that didn’t make it into Monday night’s dinner; a burger leftover from the neighborhood Fourth of July potluck (in Ziploc bag); canned salsa (rubberbanded), homemade pico de gallo and refried beans topped with ground beef (in containers, bottom left).

So tell me: What gems of degustation do you have in your fridge?

Comments | More in | Topics: Fun stuff, Stuff I ate


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