A life through leftovers

Something happens along the way with kids.

You’re already accustomed to putting them first in so many areas: when you sleep, when you wake, when you use the bathroom independently (if you’re lucky) comes back to them.

And that’s OK. So too is planning a certain amount of things based on them: what they enjoy, their attention span, and how high their wellies are for certain active pursuits.

Lately, I seem to have added another level of awareness (or maybe it’s subservience, I’ve still to decide).

The one when you don’t necessarily make your own lunch: you just eat the various leftovers, after they’ve decided what they will or won’t eat that particular day.

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I already have a commitment to leftovers (you may remember), so that’s one thing. I like seeing what supermarkets have on offer, and coming up with meals around that (you may also remember).

In defence, I think it sits as equal parts hating to waste food – and equal parts gluttony.

It’s easier when it’s fruit or veg on special: that’s pretty much a no-brainer. Other items…well, it may depend. On how much I want to keep items out of supermarket bins. (Particularly if they include marzipan.)

Weekends do see us eating leftovers reasonably often. Whatever Dan didn’t use up at the office during the week, whatever is still in the bottom of the fridge.

I think of these as ‘eatie-uppies’: everyone ends up with something different, but it means that there’s not waste. (Although I am struggling to find new uses for leftover mango chutney after a takeaway, I must confess.)

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Today’s leftovers, for your delectation (and mine too):

– a small box of leftover chicken and rice. (Junior Reader is eating more – but I am still trying to gauge the quantities right.)

– a quarter of a tuna sandwich from yesterday. (Someone else couldn’t quite manage the whole thing.)

– a Babybel cheese. Because in my current run of food research, they may say they eat them – and they certainly like playing with the outside waxy bit – but they don’t really eat them. So this was the last one.

– a slice of raisin bread. Last one in the packet, also a supermarket discount item. And someone’s tummy dictates no more dried fruit for a little while.

– Along the way, and possibly yesterday, I believe that a certain quantity of cold baked beans may have been consumed. Probably because they needed to be used up. (Also because I have a certain fondness for cold baked beans.)

– I failed on finding a use for a small amount of uncooked cauliflower (food waste bin), but succeeded in adding a spare carrot and a certain amount of yellow pepper into a rice salad. (That one was pretty good.)

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Despite all of the above activity, the fridge has a small amount of a ground rice pudding in a pot. And some leftover icing from a baking project, where the lead baker really wanted the icing – then decided they didn’t actually like the taste.

There is also apple puree and pumpkin puree which have been taking up space in the bottom of the freezer – and might just make it into a smoothie over the weekend.

I really don’t know what to do with the icing though. Other than dunk biscuits into it. Which I really shouldn’t be writing about at this time of night.

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