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Leftovers – you either love ‘em or leave ‘em

People either love leftovers or hate them.

Sometimes I’m not sure which category I belong to, which side of the fence I’m leaning on.

After we had our early Thanksgiving dinner last Sunday, and I gave it some thought as we were cleaning up, I’m still not entirely sure.

Maybe I’m a fence straddler.

Some leftovers taste just as good if not better than their freshly served counterpart.

I offer as general examples:

Stuffed peppers.

Stew.

Chocolate cake with chocolate icing.

Other leftovers leave a lot to be desired.

Already dressed spinach salad wilted as can be comes quickly to mind.

These thoughts I entertained when Better Half and I teamed up to tackle our you-wash-I’ll-dry cleanup routine after this holiday meal, which involved the usual scramble to find enough containers and matching lids to handle everything that didn’t get eaten.

And there was plenty left over to throw another Thanksgiving meal, so it seemed.

The refrigerator became the shrine of surplus, a holding space for food we swore we’d never need to eat because we were more stuffed than any turkey had been.

Of course, there wouldn’t be a leftover problem or situation in the first place if I only had some sense of how much food to fix or not to fix based on how many people are going to be served.

If you’re expecting 14 for dinner, fix enough for double is my theory because you don’t want anyone’s stomach to ever, ever growl again because they’re hungry.

Make sure there’s lots of food because your guests might be really, really starving people, so goes my school of thought, and maybe they’ll bring along a friend or two with voracious appetites. Best to be prepared.

You probably wouldn’t want to hire me as a caterer. You’d have way too much for way too few.

My business name would be Too Much Grub.

One part of me, though, is delighted to have so many leftovers, justification to announce that I’m not fixing dinner until further notice because we have — bingo — plenty of leftovers we don’t want to go to waste.

And this is why microwaves are such a great invention in the land of serving excess. Put leftovers on a plate. Heat to your liking. The cook gets a day(s) off.

Sometimes when we put leftovers away, I wonder why we even bother, because I know deep down in a digestive kind of way that we’re not going to eat them, including lots of mashed potatoes. I know I’m not going to make potato patties for the next four days. Come on.

And honestly, we look at the leftovers and try to pep talk ourselves into having them, only to decline because our tastebuds are in the mood for something entirely different.

The idea here, of course, is not to be wasteful, which is why you bring home doggie bags or styrofoam containers when you eat out, even though you’re 99.9 percent sure you won’t heat up those leftover french fries.

Some guests are glad to take leftovers home.

Some politely refuse.

They have enough landfill contributions of their own.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted atjkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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