My husband refuses to eat leftovers.
This is undoubtedly due to trauma inflicted by his mother. She was a not very good cook, not at all organized, and cheap. That combo meant that leftovers started out not very good, were left to languish in the fridge, and then heated and served up regardless of if they smelled off. She would also do thing like skim off the ‘fuzzy part’ and serve the rest. <shudder>
Anyway, his dislike of leftovers isn’t a problem for us. I like my own cooking, and as far as I’m concerned, leftover whatever is a nice break from Yet Another Sandwich. So just like Jack Spratt and his wife, we have things covered.
The exception is “Garbage Soup.” This is a tradition from my family. I love it, and continued making it sometimes after I married, just for myself. But one day husband came home when I was making it, said, 'Wow, that smells good! What is it? Is it for supper?" Thinking fast, I told him it was “Granda Lily’s Chicken & Vegetable Soup” and yes we would have it that night. He looooved it.
And why shouldn’t he? It’s a wonderfully filling and tasty and comforting meal, especially on cold or rainy days. The thing is, he would be HORRIFIED and refuse to eat it if he knew it was made from leftovers.
Here’s how you make Garbage Soup:
Whenever I have just a small bit of something left over, like a single spoonful of a vegetable or the last bit of that casserole, I put those things into this largish tupperware container I keep in the freezer. I also keep a plastic bag there, and I put in all the wings from the chickens I cook. (Neither of us like chicken skin, so otherwise they’d go to waste.)
When a sufficient quantity has accumulated, it’s Garbage Soup Day:
Simmer a chopped onion and a couple cloves of garlic in oil for a few minutes. Add the chicken wings (no need to thaw, just dump them in) plus enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer for, oh, half an hour. Whatever. Scoop out the chicken wings and set them aside cool. Skim the broth if it’s frothy. Add the contents of the tupperware container, and a can of tomatoes.
After a few minutes take a look at the soup: Does there seem to be too little of a particular vegetable? Add some – either fresh or frozen. Not enough beans? Add. Too thin overall? Add some potatoes or rice or noodles.
Taste, of course. Often the spices from the leftover casseroles are plenty, but if not add whatever you like. I generally lean to basil and oregano but suit yourself. I almost always need to add salt and pepper.
Once the wings are cool enough, it’s easy to pull the meat slivers away from the bones and skin. Toss all chicken meat into the soup. Simmer at least until anything you added fresh – like potatoes or noodles or rice – is cooked. If you like, add some finely slivered cabbage or greens toward the end.
And, ta dah! You have Garbage Soup.
Just don’t tell my husband, okay? He’d probably divorce me for inflicting leftovers on him. After the second time I made it for ‘us’, I even wrote up and printed out a recipe for the soup. I listed all the possible things that could end up in the soup with amounts, but at the end I wrote “if you don’t have some of the ingredients in the house you can skip them and use extra of the others” just to cover the obvious variability on what leftovers I’d have.
So husband happily enjoys “Grandma Lily’s Chicken & Vegetables Soup.” But only for supper that day. Any soup not eaten at that meal immediately acquires Leftover Cooties. :rolleyes: Ah, well. More for me!
So … anyone else make Garbage Soup? Or fool your spouse over the recipe of a particlar dish?