Réchauffage

No too bad for 'left-overs'!

Not too bad for ‘left-overs’!

We used to have a friend who detested left-overs… he simply would not eat them. He probably would have died of starvation in our house as ‘left-overs’ comprise a remarkably high proportion of the food we eat. But when I come to think about it, many of our left-overs are created deliberately, they are not the result of an accidental over-estimate of the food required. Like Sam Vimes, our food does not need any favours.

‘Needs eating up.’ That was a phrase of Sybil’s that got to Vimes. She’d announce at lunch: ‘We must have the pork tonight, it needs eating up.’ Vimes never had an actual problem with this, because he’d been raised to eat what was put in front of him, and do it quickly, too, before someone else snatched it away. He was just puzzled at the suggestion that he was there to do the food a favour.

Terry Pratchett. Thud!

I like cooking enough on one day that I have something to eat the next. It’s not about using waste, it’s more about planning ahead. In this world of ours where ready meals are so popular (according to the BBC, ready the meals industry is worth £2.6bn in the UK alone), I quite like making something myself that can be quickly heated up.

I can always find a container in which to freeze or store left-overs

I can always find a container in which to freeze or store left-overs

A rather strange programme on the BBC last week, Nigel and Adam’s Farm Kitchen, encouraged us to make and freeze our own ready meals, Although growing your own durum wheat with which to make your pasta (as they did) seemed an unattainable starting point for anybody watching the show, I was hopeful that the subsequent demonstration would provide some good ideas for viewers. Unfortunately, Nigel Slater got carried away and made 30 small lasagnes, each in their own foil tray. Hmmm… in our house, we would have made a large lasagne in a Pyrex dish, cooked it, eaten some of it and frozen individual portions in reusable plastic tubs. OK, this would require portions to be transferred out for reheating in the oven, but since most folks reheat in a microwave, there’s really no issue.

I regularly make a big pot of spaghetti bolognese ,or of soup, with the specific intention of having food for the next day or for the freezer. And if you have one of those discerning individuals who does not like to eat ‘left-overs’, just assure them that you have made Réchauffage; after all, the French are great cooks, so it must be good!

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28 Comments

  1. I’m enjoying a little of Sam Vimes with a re-read of Snuff just now.I go to sleep smiling.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx

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  2. Nothing wrong with a good leftover. I find in many cases that the flavour has actually improved, particularly in the case of casseroles or curry. As you say, cooking once for two days makes good sense. But my favourite trick is to ‘cook the fridge’ – making a good meal out of whatever is left in there. I’m allowed to use the odd can of tomatoes, etc, but I set myself the challenge to clear out the fridge as much as possible before we’re allowed to go grocery shopping. It makes for the occasional ‘interesting’ meal…

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  3. Chilli is always more delicious when it has been in the fridge overnight! I make a huge pot of the kids favourite, spag bog, once a week and that means I get one night off sometime in the next few days when we eat the other half.
    I think the only people who don’t like leftovers are the ones who don’t have to cook dinner in the first place! 😉

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  4. I’ll regularly cook extra rice, beans, potatoes or pasta at dinner in order to have some ready for the next day’s lunch. All make a great basis for salads, and cooking one large batch saves fuel as well as time.

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  5. gary finch

     /  November 29, 2013

    most of the meals that I make are based on so many leftovers that it’s hard to know which was the ‘original’ Aranya came up with a nice term when he was reviewing my diploma work around my lifestyle and ‘walking the talk’ – “Gleaning” (agri – collecting the unharvested,dropped produce during the gathering) – I have managed to clean my teeth from everyone else’s discarded paste tubes (they declare them to be empty) for years and cannot remember the last time I had purchased shaving soap – the little ‘useless’ bits foam up nicely in a shaving bowl with a brush

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  6. We call them roll-over meals! xxx

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  7. I too cook extra and then freeze. It is interesting how it is all about how one views it. One person’s left overs are another persons pre cooked, frozen, delicious meal! I loved that we are being encouraged to do that. 🙂

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  8. While hubby does most of the cooking nowadays, there are certain meals he just won’t make himself, as they’re, ‘just not the same as your’s’, and so he begs me to do them for him – dishes such as Lasagne, Chili, and Bolognese – and, like you, I make a large batch, so hubby can have his immediate gratification, and the rest goes in the freezer, in small plastic containers big enough for two meals at a time – it saves me physical energy, gas from cooking, and lots and lots of time, which I then use as I snuggle up in bed to keep warm, while I re-read yet another Discworld book 🙂

    I do so love Sybil’s sayings 🙂

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  9. Again, you make me think: I have seriously got to read Terry Pratchett. My spouse is shocked that I haven’t.

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  10. Ha! I would be in serious trouble without left-overs. What would I take to work for lunch?

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  11. Thrusday and Monday were leftover suppers when I was working. Now that it is just Sweetums and me, it’s more like every other day, at the very least. It’s too hard to cook for two.
    Never eating leftovers? Utterly ridiculous!

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  1. Every last bit | The Snail of Happiness

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