Leftovers and I have an interesting relationship. As I write this, I have the remains of an omelet and hash browns from this weekend reheating in the oven. Believe it or not, this is a surprisingly quick turnaround for me. Far too often I leave leftovers until they leave the window of viability (heh).
As a kid, I was a very picky eater. I had a small number of meals I enjoyed (like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) as often as I could (every day for lunch in elementary school). Heck, I didn’t even like pizza until I finally saw the light during a trip to England!
Even today, For the most part I don’t get overly bored with my food choices. I have a sandwich for lunch. Some sort of chicken dish for dinner. And occasionally I’ll even eat out.
But if I end up with leftovers, either through not finishing at a restaurant or cooking more servings than I need at the time (cooking for one was hard, alright?), I tend to let them sit. For some reason, the break in my routine requires a step back to the usual before the unusual can be truly appreciated. For instance: if I make myself spaghetti one night, I won’t want the leftovers the next night. I can have the same style sandwich for lunch every day of the week, but spaghetti two nights in a row? Blasphemy!
So I’ll wait. I’ll put the leftovers in the fridge until they sound appetizing again. But far too often I’ll forget about them. Days, weeks, sometimes even months (embarrassingly enough) can pass before I think about my leftovers again. Even worse, if it’s something someone else has cooked or bought for me, I’ll feel guilty about letting it go to waste. This results in me looking away in shame every time I see the container in the fridge. And I’ll be seeing it quite often, since I often don’t have the heart to throw the food away until it’s well past its prime.
Did you know there are different colors of fuzz on old food? Green, white, and even black!
I don’t know why I treat leftovers like this, but it amuses me nonetheless. Maybe I want to hold on to my enjoyment of something ephemeral as long as possible? I did the same thing with Halloween candy as a kid, often having a leftover stash by the time the next year’s holiday rolled around. Either way, I’ve probably wasted more food than I’d like to admit just because I wanted to save it for some “special time.”