Leftovers Good, Food Waste Bad

by Katy on October 10, 2015 · 16 comments

With my older son off to college, we’re suddenly experiencing an excess of leftovers. Nothing extreme, but certainly enough that it could easily lead to unfortunate and heartbreaking food waste.

So I planned a meal of leftovers.

Chicken noodle soup, baked beans with ham, red curry over rice and tortellini with pesto.

So I invited my mother and step-father over for dinner. A buffet of leftovers. After all, I had this overabundance of leftover food, with a significant amount of leftover clean from our earlier houseguest. All served in colorful Fiestaware and eaten with freshly polished sterling silver flatware.

Beause I’m classy that way.

Leftovers are good. Already prepped food is good. Sharing bounty is good. A clean house is good. And honey, a relaxed hostess is very good!

Food waste bad.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon October 10, 2015 at 10:10 am

I love it! I have and do serve reinvented leftovers to guests. Good food is good food! And using fancy dishes and flatware is even better. Fabulous!


A. Marie October 10, 2015 at 10:56 am

Anybody who has a problem eating leftovers at our house isn’t likely to get any future invitations. And we and our “best bud” neighbors swap leftovers frequently. (I admit that your Fiestaware/sterling presentation is probably more elegant than ours!)


Ruby October 10, 2015 at 12:06 pm

I love to set a nice table, even when the fare is humble. Sunday evening we had homemade pizza for supper, and I put out the lovely new-to-us vintage Buffalo china bought for a song at the Salvation Army with homemade cloth napkins. Lit a couple of candles and it was better than any expensive restaurant meal.


Betty Winslow October 10, 2015 at 3:02 pm

We mostly eat our leftovers for lunches, but sometimes I present it to my daughter and her BF, so they won’t have to cook. Win-win: no wasted food and happy kids!


Carol M. October 10, 2015 at 3:10 pm

I love having leftovers…one last meal to prep. But I also don’t serve it on fancy dishes…I am impressed by the amount of chores you seem to get done on a daily basis! Polishing silverware, indeed!


Chris October 10, 2015 at 3:11 pm

My mom called this “international night” – nothing went to waste in our house.


Rebecca October 10, 2015 at 4:07 pm

To make it classier we use the French word réchauffé …. which just means re-warmed food or leftovers. I’ve invited family over for réchauffé many times. 🙂


Stephanie October 10, 2015 at 4:36 pm

Thanks for the hyperlink.


Marcia October 10, 2015 at 7:25 pm

When I lived close to my Mom years ago, she and I would sometimes swap leftovers if we both were tired of them! Worked out well.


Lucy October 11, 2015 at 4:19 am

Sadly my hubby will not eat leftovers, except for making an sandwich or two from roast. So I eat leftovers for lunch.

It’s hard to adjust your buying/cooking habits down when a child (especially a bottomless pit boy) leaves the nest! We experiences a few weeks of too much leftovers, mostly due to the way I had packaged meats for the deep freezer.


Diane October 11, 2015 at 4:21 am

I have a hard time with leftovers of certain meals or “reruns” as my brother in law calls them. Sometimes they just turn me off. So I try to keep my meal prep to just what I can eat or save certain ingredients for a meal the next day. Yesterday I made Tuscan bean soup and kept some of the cut up veggies raw in the fridge to roast for a roasted veggie sandwich today. And soup is one meal I can eat over and over as well.


Marianne October 11, 2015 at 5:27 am

I found it very difficult to adjust the amount of food I was making once the kids left. Plus hubby hardly ever eats leftovers. I do take them for lunch but I get really sick of having the same thing for lunch that I had for dinner the night before. This led to a lot of food waste. I am making an effort to make much smaller portions and if there is not enough I fry up some bread or add extra veggies.


Linda M October 11, 2015 at 8:34 am

We call them planned overs at our house! (Because I definitely plan to serve again whatever is left over.) Sometimes they are transformed to a completely different dish…..roast into hash or beef manhattans. Meatloaf becomes part of spaghetti. Grilled chicken may top a large dinner salad or stir fry meat.
When a child goes off to college, it is amazing how much less you have to cook…..and when they do come home, it is mindboggling how much food they can comsume. Love that you made a festive meal out of leftover and shared. Too bad that as our culture is, we don’t that more often. Eating with others is such an uplifting experience.


Katy October 11, 2015 at 10:05 am

I so agree. We’re lazy about having others over, or maybe simply busy. Either way, I want to force myself out of my comfort zone with this.


Rose October 11, 2015 at 9:39 am

Looooove fiesta! Their dinnerware is my absolute favorite! It’s gorgeous and lasts forever. Great taste.


Mary in Maryland October 13, 2015 at 6:03 pm

My social life is a whirl of potlucks. I remember the morning I was deciding what to make for a lunch time potluck and noticed a large container of leftover vegetable curry. Take leftovers to the potluck. No one knows.


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