Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 24 - Leftovers, How do you know it's okay to eat that?, and Planning for tomorrow's potluck.

So I have already mentioned how much we like leftovers in this house, but I didn't tell you some of the important things that I have learned about leftovers. For one thing if you have a lot left from that evening's dinner you may want to do one of two things. Either save it and hope several people with hearty appetites will finish it off over the next three days. Or two, toss it right in the garbage. I really don't like option two; however, if folks didn't go back for seconds or pushed the food around their plates, it's probably a sign they won't want to heat it up later.

I try really hard to think about what kinds of flavors my family likes and stay within that range, but sometimes I stray out of the expected and try some different flavor combinations and my family tells me I'm trying too hard to do something too different. For example I made South American Quinoa and Beans on September 16th and Vegan Tofu Stew on Basmati Rice on September 21st. Guess they were not the hit I'd hoped they'd be because I had to use the two large containers, and they are still sitting in the fridge. UGH! Which leads me to the second part of this post, which is, "How do you know it's okay to eat that?"

Well leftovers should really only be in your fridge for three days, maximum. That's it! Three! More than that and the food breaks down, bacteria and mold and other delightful organisms start to move into suburbs and pick out school districts. I'm serious. The food may look and smell tasty on day five, but honestly do you want to chance dealing with food poisoning later that day because it looks good? So I spent the half hour before writing clearing out items of a questionable nature. Which makes me sad. Only here in well off countries like America, do we make food, save it, and then not eat it. I try so hard to make just enough to feed my family of four (sometimes five) so that there is nothing remaining, but sometimes I over guesstimate and end up with three extra servings of a dish. I suppose I could ask my family what they would like for dinner the next night, but I don't usually get helpful answers. I can't deep fry, stir fry, or make pizza every night...

For tomorrow night's potluck I decided to make chicken and potatoes in garlic sauce in the crock pot. It's tasty and smells divine and just a little is very filling and I figure it being a potluck, with other dishes coming made from local and seasonal and organic ingredients, this will probably compliment many of the other offerings. I hope those of you who are able to make it to a potluck celebrating the NY Locavore Challenge enjoy your evening, and keep working on the challenge until the end of the month, I believe we can do it together!

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