Monday, October 24, 2011


Who invented the concept of leftovers anyway? I suppose the idea is a good
one, it saves time and makes perfect economic sense, particularly at today’s
grocery prices. But really, the whole thing is simply not practical – at
least when it comes to my household.

Sure, it sounds easy enough; place the uneaten food into little containers
with matching lids and then save them in the refrigerator. In the next day
or two, reheat the pre-cooked items in the microwave, set the cold dishes
back on the table and voilĂ  – another home-cooked meal at no additional
cost! Brilliant! But, it never works.

See, at my house, once the food goes into the refrigerator, that’s where it
stays until it has morphed into an inedible psychedelic version of its
former state. Only when it has sufficiently become discolored and acquired a
rancid odor is it removed. All the term “leftovers” means in my home is an
opportunity to air out the house – and more dishes!

If we could just bring ourselves to throw the food away in the first place,
we’d save a lot of time and money. But something in our psyche won’t let us.
Forbids it, actually. Why? One possible explanation is that my wife and I
were taught not to be wasteful. So, we dutifully scrape our leftovers into
the little containers with matching lids and then stack them in the
refrigerator. This we do in order to satisfy the “waste not, want not” code
that is so ingrained in us. Then, we promptly forget about it until either
we run out of little containers with matching lids or the putrid smell calls
us to action.

By going through these motions, we feel justified when it all gets dumped
into the garbage. As if sending the food for an extended stay in the cool
confines of the refrigerator and allowing it to slowly rot and mold before
we throw it away is somehow more noble than discarding it the day it was

Maybe we just learn not to cook so much. That seems like a feasible plan,
right? It would save time and money and a lot of hassle. The problem is, if
we did that, there would be no leftovers, and then what would we do with all
those little containers and matching lids?

Bruce A. Borders, author and songwriter has over 500 songs and 9 books. Over My Dead Body, his latest ebook, is available on Apple I-Pad®, Amazon Kindle®, Barnes & Noble Nook® and Sony Reader®. For more information, visit or

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