My husband loves leftovers for lunch. And he’s a saint for eating them up for all of us. Unless, of course, he forgets it on the counter. All day. Until it grows its own goatee complete with gray hair. Typically, because he is so good at eating them up, there are few leftovers. More often than not, I have to use a sharpie to mark MY lunch for the next day – because there are just some things that are better as leftovers like meatloaf, chili and scalloped potatoes.
Last night, I went to make dinner and the refrigerator was full. To the gills. With what? You guessed it. Leftovers. I don’t mind leftovers but I like to cook. New things. But I hadn’t been shopping for days and the refrigerator looked full. So I scratched the menu for the evening and called the kids to the refrigerator. I handed each one a plate and told them they were shoppin’ the refrigerator. Huh? the confused little guys asked. Shopping? Our refrigerator? For dinner?
With meal tickets in hand (one meat, one starch, one vegetable and one freebie) they picked and choose to their hearts delight. There was so much excitement they couldn’t decide. I had to pull all the available choices out for fear that the milk would spoil while they stood there gazing longingly at the titillating selection. #1 son chose spanish rice, beef tenderloin, green beans and sausage. #2 son chose beef tenderloin, sausage, macaroni and asparagus. (Can you tell my boys are meat eaters?) #1 daughter (with her spanking new drivers license) was out “running errands” and conveniently went the fast food route as soon as she heard the menu.
And after every plate was heated up all I heard was munching. Crunching. A little slurping. Thank goodness, no burping. And then, “Mom? Can I have more (fill in the blank)?” There were no complaints. No bargaining. No questions about what was for dessert so they could decide how hungry they really were. They finished their plates (and they were heaping because I was trying to clear out the refrigerator) without complaint.
Pinch me. I must be dreaming.
These are the very things we’ve eaten over the course of the past 3 days. And at each of those meals I have heard, “How many more green beans do I have to eat?” “Do I HAVE to eat the asparagus?” “You gave me too much rice.” “This meat is too chewy.”
But last night, because THEY got to choose, they couldn’t get enough. I think I might be on to something.
Then my husband came home. “What’s for dinner?” he asked brightly. Leftovers. “Oh.” His face fell. I guess he really does just like leftovers for lunch.
Well, 2 out of 3 happy eaters ain’t bad.