Last week, someone asked me about leftovers, and help from kids:
Simcha, what I would really like to know, besides the menus, is things like, who did what for a given meal? How does the youngest contribute, and how much do the older kids do? How many of what did you have to make? Do you deliberately cultivate leftovers? If so, what do you do with them? I don’t think that I have seen you serve leftovers for dinner once, but I can’t believe everything comes out even every time.
It’s true, I almost never serve leftovers for dinner. We either make exactly as much as we’ll eat (like with hamburgers), or else I make plenty and we eat the leftovers for lunch. I end up throwing away some food at the end of every week, or else feeding it to the dog, and I just don’t sweat it. I try not to waste money, but I often make too much of cheaper foods. It’s not something I can worry about right now.
I’ll talk more about kids helping next week. This week, I’ll note how much food I served.
CHICKEN BURGERS, CHEESE ADEQUACIES, VEG and DIP
I heated up 27 chicken patties. We ate about 20, and the rest made their way into lunches. I think there’s one stray in the fridge now.
We ate 2 medium bags of cheetos, and I served a small bag (18 oz?) of “baby” carrots, two heads of broccoli, and three sweet peppers, and a small tub of dip. There were a handful of leftover veggies, which I nibbled on throughout the week.
I like buying store-brand versions of foods, especially the ones the gas station sells: ShurFine brand. I guess they meant it like, “Yessiree, it surely is fine food!” but it comes across as, “Sure, fine, whatever, put this in your face.” The ShurFine cheetos mascot is a weasel with band aids on his elbows from a rollerblading mishap, and he’s feebly hollering, “They’rrrrrrrrre . . . adequate.”
PU PU PLATTER FOR 12!
And a pot of rice (I used 5 cups of raw rice); Chocolate pudding with whipped cream
We usually order this meal on Christmas day from the excellent restaurant that is 3/10 of a mile down the road from us, but this year, we were visiting family on Christmas. So we had the Chinese food on Sunday, to take the sting out of the day we de-Christmasified the house. Back in the box, Tom Servo tree topper:
And we discovered that there were two decorative gourds still lurking behind the stable. Turns out they’re not as well-preserved as they look when you buy them in September:
Anyway, it was an enormous amount of food: egg rolls, chicken fingers, batter fried shrimp, crab rangoon, barbecued chicken wings, that red pork stuff, and beef on a stick. Chinese American meat, and tons of it:
We ate the leftovers in the next day or two. For dessert, I made 5 boxes of instant pudding, and there were a few cups left over, which got eaten the next day by a ghost.
3 lbs pasta, three jars of olives, one can of anchovies, two onions, 24 oz. of grape tomatoes, and I forget what else.
We had Monday off for Civil Rights Day (we like a day off in NH, but can’t quite bring ourselves to say “Martin Luther King, Jr.”), so I was able to cook an actual meal. We also went sledding. We survived exactly half an hour on Horse Hill before the frigid wind triumphed. Gorgeous day, though
Gosh, I love New Hampshire. And we had an excuse to make another gallon of hot chocolate.
For dinner, I used Pioneer Woman’s recipe, which was supposed to take 16 minutes to prepare. It did not. This recipe involved anchovies, several kinds of olives, red onions, garlic, wine, and assorted other of my favorites. Fun to make:
The final flavor was kind of harsh, though. Pretty, though!
3.33lbs of meat, 2 envelopes of taco spice, 3 bags of tortilla chips, half a large jar of salsa, half a head of iceburg lettuce, six Roma tomatoes, and 16 oz. sour cream. I have no idea how many tortillas we ate. We have a rotating supply of 450 tortillas in the house. Every once in a while, I get mad and throw them all away, and then buy another 30 next week.
It’s a little embarrassing that it makes such a difference to be able to say that. I was thinking, “I guess we’ll have tacos today, bluhh. What day is it? Oh, Tuesday, bah bah bahhh. Wait. . . tacos . . . on a Tuesday . . . why, that means it’s TACO TUESDAY!!!!!” I didn’t actually do a Mexican Hat Dance, but almost. I guess I’m the ideal consumer. Good thing I don’t have any actual money to spend.
No picture from Tuesday, so here is one that just speaks for what really goes on here every day, one way or another:
Speaking of money, I made the tacos with 2.33 lbs of ground beef and 1 pound of ground sausage, which I bought for . . . ten cents. Now, most people would decide not to buy ten-cent sausage, on the grounds that meat does not cost ten cents; but I am not most people. ¡Olé!
EGGS; SAUSAGES; OVEN ROASTED POTATOES
50 frozen sausages, 30-40 eggs, maybe 8 lbs of potatoes and 2 large onions
There was probably 3 cups of leftover potatoes and sausages, which the baby and the dog ate for snacks.
Yep, I put ketchup on my scrambled eggs. Because it tastes good, and you know it.
PEPPERONI CHICKEN on SPINACH FETTUCCINE; SALAD
I bought about 4 lbs. of chicken, and it was just barely enough. Probably 65 slices of peperoni, maybe a pound of mozzarella cheese, and 2 24-oz jars of pasta sauce. Salad was one head of frisee lettuce, three small heads of Romaine, and half a package of baby spinach. We ate about half, and will eat the rest today.
For this dish, which was another 16-minute (ha) Pioneer Woman recipe, I bought a package of pasta nests, which were on sale. I don’t know how you’re supposed to cook them so they stay in nest form!
I had to cook the chicken in the morning and then reheat it in the sauce at dinner time. It definitely would have been better if everything had been fresh and hot and prepared together, but it was still a tasty dish, and would make a yummy sandwich. Adding to the list.
CHEESE PIZZA; SALAD
If the kitchen ever warms up enough to allow the dough to defrost, I’ll be making 4 XL pizzas today. I use four 18-oz balls of frozen dough, 1 24-oz jar of tomato sauce, and usually about 2.5 lbs of mozzarella cheese (plus a sprinkling of garlic powder, oregano, and Parmesan).
Was that helpful and/or interesting, to know the amounts of food I use? I can easily add that information every week if it’s something that people want to know.
What’s cooking at your house? And who has recipes for food that tastes normal but is not horribly fattening? My clothes all shrunk over Christmas, is why I’m asking.