Pursuing Left Overs

I am searching out pockets of leftovers that have been lying low in the kitchen for far too long. Last night we had curried lentil soup with some cauliflower that has been lurking in the crisper. We ate that with the last of the hummus that Rosy made last week, vegie sticks, and the dregs of crackers at the bottom of cracker jars that no-one can be bothered reaching right down to the bottom of.

This evening I made coconut macaroons from the two egg whites that have been sitting in a jar in the fridge for a week. Several-day old egg whites are actually better for meringue than fresh. They whip up better. How convenient. They were left over from when Posy made custard. I also whipped up some blueberry muffins because it is cold and raining and miserable and Rosy had an exam and we all need carbohydrates.

I went to get the patty pans out of their basket, and found some paper bags half full of forgotten goodies. I often throw treats up into the basket on the top shelf when I don't want the girls to find them, and there they lie, forgotten by everyone for who knows how long. So after the macaroons came out of the oven I put in a tray of slightly limp banana chips and bhuja mix to crisp it up. Also some flaked almonds I found in the back of the spices. The flaked almonds will be sprinkled on the greens at dinner and I'll serve the snacks in tiny bowls as an apertif. Tiny bowls are so useful in the kitchen. You can fill them with two spoonfuls of leftover whatever and it looks interesting and intentional. These I bought from the op shop, five for a dollar. I think they are tiny cups for green tea.

So as the winter solstice works its magic and the globe rolls slowly on carrying Tasmania back ever closer to sun I am doing the very small and absorbing work of trying to find a use for every scrap of food in the kitchen.

What leftovers have you used up this week?


Anonymous said…
I have a 14 year old boy at my house, and a chap who takes his lunch to work most days (when the aforementioned 14 year old doesn't suddenly decide to eat the spare meal. Oops), so we don't have a lot of leftovers at ours. Also, the wee doggie likes her share of people food and is partial to a good plate scraping. My cunning plan is to make "enough" food so that we still have the spare meal and the 14 year old doesn't go hangry!.
Jo said…
Miss Maudy, I treasure leftovers for lunch as well, and the hound will eat absolutely anything. And yet.. there are still bits and pieces that go to waste if I am not the leftover police. Not sure how that happens. It is like the biro black hole. An unsolvable mystery..
Tracy said…
Two of my kids have been housesitting for the last 3 weeks, so I've been making the most of cooking once and eating twice. A regular meal around here was able to stretch out for two full meals. Oh the joy!

Usually when we have leftovers they are either someone's lunch, or they contribute to "Fend for Yourself Friday", in which all of the kids are out of the house for the evening before I get home from work.

Now everyone's home again and I'm back to cooking every night :( and planning carefully to ensure some leftovers actually get to happen.
Fernglade Farm said…
Hi Jo,

I have to fess up here. We did someone a favour and they repaid us with a huge slab of the most excellent tiramisu. Total 100% Yum! Anyway, that meant that tiramisu took the place of my usual homemade Anzac biscuits for the week. But the Anzac biscuits don't contain preservatives so they started to go stale. Fortunately, my canine companions decided to assist with that matter and they have been enjoying Anzac biscuits this week. This biscuit situation - for that is what it is - cannot continue! And anyway, alas the most excellent tiramisu has now all been gobbled up and I had to bake a new batch of Anzac biscuits this morning.

I'm not sure what the moral of that story is, but who knows, the canines aren't complaining! Anyway, we don't really waste much of any food here so there is not much in the way of scraps. My gut feeling tells me that waste is money thrown in the bin (whatever that means).

PS: I really enjoy your stories. Have you been writing your novella? I began a short story which is accessed by a page on my blog and I received a thoughtful comment that I should convert it into a de-industrial kids story (whatever that is).


Linda said…
You are very inventive with your leftovers.
Anonymous said…
Sounds like you whipped up some wonderful treats.

My household is like Miss Maudy's. Not that I have a 14 yo. But my 21 yo eats dinners as breakfasts so we have little waste of left over dinners. But we have been having our own war on waste following the ABC show.

I had an iceberg lettuce in the crisper for weeks. Passed its best. Way passed. So I bought some mint (I can't grow mint. The only person I know who can't.( and made French peas. The mint was also used with the left over roast beef we had last weekend to make a beef, mint and lettuce (from loose lettuce going Manly and good bits picked out and washed) and peach chutney which was given as a gift to Mr S for helping a family. Had four lunches. And as I kept the leftover roast veggies and French peas, there was enough for one dinner - for me - when Mr S ate another left-over dinner.

Then I made a chicken peanut curry from a slow cooker sachet that has been in the pantry for about a year.

I bought this thing that absorbs the gas that fruit and veg give off as they ripen. It slows the process so they last longer. Really works.

Bread is the thing that gets waste during here. Not much room in the freezer and The Dreamer won't use frozen bread.
Hazel said…
My plans were slightly derailed by my (long-planned) weekend away in which the rest of the family bought fish and chips instead of the meal I suggested which used up some ham. To be fair, it was a weekend where they were all going in different directions and I think the logistics got a bit overwhelming.

Anyway, that meal is on for tonight and then back on track with Megadarra tomorrow, which uses lots of lentils. I also made little pizza-type pies with leftover Friday-pizza toppings and off-cuts of pastry from yesterday's sausage plait (meat from the freezer) so that's today's lunches sorted :-)
Mimi said…
I love tiny bowls too Jo. I have some that are barely bowls. More like fairy saucers. Half a dozen walnut pieces looks like a feast. It's a great strategy. Mimi xxx
Jo said…
Tracy, I LOVE fend for yourself Friday! I do the same about once a week out of sheer exhaustion. re leftovers for lunch - one of my colleagues always has delicious leftovers for lunch - she always dishes up next day's lunch for herself before she serves dinner to the family!

Chris, mmm, tiramisu. See, everyone happy, you and the dogs!

Linda, thanks!

Lucinda, isn't War on Waste excellent? I have been watching it on iview with the girls. Using lettuce for French peas? Brilliant! Must look that up. Apparently lettuce soup is a thing in France, but I have never made any..

With the left over bread, you can toast in the oven, blitz in and then you have shelf-stable breadcrumbs. Store them in an air tight jar.

Hazel, fish and chips are an important cultural activity on a weekend away :) I lOVE mujadara, such a great comfort food (mind you I am the only person in the house who does). You sound like you are doing a brilliant job!

Mimi, it is highly likely that I stole the idea from you xx

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