Wednesday, November 2, 2011

If it's not moving..

What is your criteria for deeming leftovers inedible?

In my house growing up the rule of thumb was if it smelled okay, wasn’t incubating any extra life forms, and generally still resembled food, then go ahead and dive in.

My Mom is a connoisseur of leftovers.

She loves leftover chicken, pizza and steak. No need to heat them up. She prefers them cold, maybe a side of crackers, a few baby carrots tossed on the plate for color. Snuggled in the corner of the couch, her plate balanced on the arm, nose in a good book, and viola you have my Mom’s perfect lunch break.

Perfection, perhaps, only rivaled by the incredibly rare, mother-daughter shopping sprees, her and I share about once a year, when she and my Step-Dad are able to visit.

Yes, Mom, I know… it’s my own fault for moving all the way to the other side of the continent… in my next life I’ll fall in love with the guy next door, I promise.

My Dad, on the other hand is the king of what he calls Goulash… and no not the authentic German variety.

My Dad’s Goulash always happened on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, when the selection of leftover food was at its peak. With children sitting around the kitchen table, contemplating various levels of schoolwork, my Dad would open the fridge to peruse his ingredients.

A little leftover meat, maybe some leftover veggies, perhaps some sauce… whatever he didn’t have in the form of leftovers, he’d fill in with a can of Campbell soup, and he’d top the whole thing off with some pasta… usually macaroni.

It was always tasty, often contained curry, and 100% of the time only required one pan to make. The rest of the dishes for the night consisted of the 5 or 6 containers he had emptied in the process of creating his masterpiece.

All that to say, in my childhood, leftovers may not have lasted in the fridge for very long, but if they did, we NEVER threw them away unless they showed signs of being spoiled.

Food cost money, and in my family, money was often tight.

So, imagine my bewilderment, when I arrived home today, early for the first time in FOREVER, with an actual PLAN for dinner only to be thwarted by a leftover thief!!

I had planned on Corn Casserole, Leftover Ribs and salad…. Yum, right?

The conversation went like this…

ME: Mr. Man, where are the leftover ribs?

HIM: Oh, my Mom told me to throw them away yesterday, they were bad.

ME: (At an earsplitting shrill octave) WHAAAATTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were smoked on your Dad’s BBQ on SATURDAY, yesterday was TUESDAY!! In what universe does cooked meat go bad in THREE DAYS?!?!

Were they smelly, slimy, furry, discolored or moving?

HIM: No.

ME: Well then WTF!!!!????!!!

Now, you might think this a slight overreaction on my part. After all they were just leftover ribs, get a grip right? But this is not the first time my sweet “better-half” has pitched perfectly good and delicious food.

One year, Mr. Man threw away the scrumptious leftover pineapple upside down cake he had made me only three days earlier for MY birthday. It was wrapped in tinfoil, sitting on the counter one day, and when I came into the kitchen the next evening, with a hankering for a slice of tasty cake and cold glass of milk, it was gone!

I should have had him arrested for theft… that cake was MINE!

Another time he decided the pot of soup made the night before and left on our stove, with the lid on, in our COLD kitchen had gone bad, since it hadn’t been in the fridge.

It didn’t contain dairy, eggs, or raw meat. It hadn’t been sitting in the sun. It hadn’t been uncovered for bugs or foreign particles to invade. No one had scratched their ass and then stuck their hand in the pot….

So how, HOW in any possible stretch of the imagination could it have gone bad?????

Seriously, am I crazy? Okay, don’t answer that!

But, am I misinformed? Is there some sort of fast growing super bug that lurks in leftover food? Am I going to eat a piece of 2 day old chicken, get infected and turn into a zombie… thereby bringing on the Apocalypse and the end of life as we know it?

If so, please tell me now, cause I’m actually REALLY afraid of zombies!!!

Risking it for some 5 day old homemade cookies,



Anonymous said...

Really fun Mandy I still remember my leftover magic

Rory said...

You have HIM ... I have HER. Leftovers in our house are disappearing all the time!! JUST DON'T TOUCH MY LEFTOVER PIZZA!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god! Scott does the same thing. Sometimes with leftovers and sometimes with yogurt because its 1 days past its best before date. Like helllooo...just because he doesnt want to eat it doesnt mean I dont. I react the same way. Love that you are writing again.

Mandy:) said...

Phew, thanks everyone! It's so good to hear I am not completely off my rocker, and good news! I ate the cookies and it didn't result in any cravings for human brains!

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