Leftovers. They sit in the refigerator and mock us. Taunting us each time we reach for something new.
“Why are you opening a new yogurt/bag of mini carrots/package of cottage cheese/ when you could be reheating me?”
General rule of thumb is to bring leftovers to work for lunch, or to toss them into a soup. But what should you do if your job is not conducive to a reheated leftovers lunch, or the weather is so god-awful hot that the idea of soup is enough to push you over the edge?
My family had eaten a big meal around 4:00 P.M. yesterday, (“lupper,” not to be confused with “leper.”) and I was hoping that I could get away with not having to make dinner. Alas, hunger snuck its way into my growing children around 9:00 P.M., with wails of:
“I’m hungry mom, and you never buy anything good. All you ever buy is canned beans and tomatoes!”
(Not true. I also buy. . . um. . . oh, never mind!)
So off I trotted to the Non-Consumer fridge to see what magic could be conjured from its pathetic contents. (We are eight days into a “buy no food challenge” and the pickings are slim.) I am a stubborn, stubborn woman and refuse to admit defeat.
- A half can amount of garbonzo beans.
- An eighth of an avocado.
- A tiny smidgen of smoked salmon and gourmet cheese leftover from Kathy’s play.
- Some feta cheese.
- A half box of orzo.
- Tea towel salad dressing.
- All this, plus a quick rain-soaked dash to the cherry tomatoes out in the front yard equals:
Within ten minutes, a mini-meal was assembled. And not to brag too much, but it was nothing but delish. The heat of the orzo gave it a creamy texture, and the small amount of smoked salmon infused its flavor throughout the entire dish. It was gobbled down with unabashed fervor.
You may be asking, “And what exactly is the point of this story?”
The point, my little Non-Consumers, is:
It’s a valuable life skill to figure out how to cook with miscellaneous ingredients. Not only will you waste less food, but you’ll save money and time (fewer last-minute trips to the grocery store).
You will not find the same ingredients in your fridge, but this is not so much a recipe as it is a mindset.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”