There are often mixed opinions when it comes to leftovers. Some people love them, some people hate them. Some people even intentionally make too much food so that there will be leftovers. Others go out of their way to ensure that all bits of the meal get consumed in a single sitting.
Leftovers can be a beautiful thing. I grew up in a family of six people (and often more when friends and family were over). Therefore, every family meal was cooked in an excessively large portion. The intent was to have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day, but the trick was always making sure that the leftovers didn't become excessive.
No one wants to eat the same thing over and over again for an entire week. But that was often the case if we cooked too much food.
"Hope you like lasagna, because we have a pan and a half left and we're not cooking again until it's done."
This was a common scenario in the household. Luckily, I usually liked everything that we made enough to want to eat it for the next few days. And even if I was a little sick of it, I understood the household obligation to eat leftovers.
It always killed me a bit inside to throw out food. It always sucked to clean out the fridge and realize that so much food had gone to waste. Sometimes you can't help it, but in the times that I could, I ate as many leftovers as possible.
Now, having lived on my own for a while I have a bit of a hate for leftovers. With how busy and ever-changing life is, I find that I never have the time to eat leftovers. I never get around to finishing off that Tupperware container full of pasta or taking the leftover chicken in my lunch the next day.
Leftovers would have likely made life a lot easier when I was in school, but the idea of preparing a large meal and dividing it up over the week always seemed so daunting. I was always worried that I would be throwing out food at the end of the week, and as a poor student, that idea was not remotely appealing.
So, needless to say, leftovers didn't really exist in my school years, but they've recently made a reoccurrence in my life. Having a family, leftovers are practical. That leftover pasta suddenly becomes very appealing because it means you don't have to think about what to eat for lunch the next day. The leftover Kraft dinner goes with your child to school instead of their usual sandwich.
I still don't want my fridge to be filled with the corpses of meals that have passed, but I am not opposed to making a little extra when we cook. There is a convenience to it. There is a practicality to it, and sometimes you are just not hungry enough to eat everything in a single sitting.
I will always have a love-hate relationship with leftovers. I will likely always try to monitor their presence in the fridge, but I am learning to understand the role they play in my life as it changes.
Mostly, I'm always happy and thankful that I have enough food to even make leftovers. There are so many that don't, so regardless of my opinion on leftovers, I will always be happy that they are an option in my life.