When I was married, my husband always told his friends, "I never eat leftovers. My wife cooks a fresh meal every night."
I still grin when someone says those exact words in my presence.
Leftover queen is a title I wear proudly. I have been specializing in how to make a food budget spread out for more years than people have been that upset about the economy. My Mother use to make the best meals and they always came together so fast. When young, I would labor for hours to recreate some of the same dinners. Telling my tales of culinary efforts to my Mother always brought a look of love to her face.
When I became engaged, Mother said, "I am going to share with you the secrets of always having a good meal on the table and not have to stress about how to afford it." This statement from one of the best cooks in my life was worth more than she would know in later years.
First secret was when making a Meat Loaf that every person will love, make sure to make a large one. The reason for this is not only will it make a wonderful display but you have enough for three meals. She would always take the leftover meatloaf, freeze enough for Spaghetti Sauce and then would use the rest of the leftovers for sloppy joes by just adding a good bar-b-Que sauce. My favorite is Bullseye Original.
If she made a beef roast, the next night it would be cut up with potatoes and onion and served with a hearty salad.
Beans were a staple in our house hold and leftover beans were made into baked beans or mashed for Burritos.
Baked ham was utilized in Macaroni and cheese, sauteed with candied yams, great Sub sandwiches and used as flavoring for squash, greens, and anything that needed a little seasoning.
The funniest thing she said was, " Your Dad tells everyone he never eats leftovers. His favorite dish is my "homemade" mashed potatoes which is just instant potatoes with Mayonnaise added. My home made Biscuits like his Mother made, is Bisquick also with a little Mayonnaise added."
The best part about this is you are not lying when you serve them these wonderful meals. Not only are you budget minded, but your skills of creating has excelled to new levels.
My job now is to pass this information on to my Daughter and also my Son's future wife.
Oh, dear, I just heard my son tell his friend, "my Mother is the best cook. We never eat leftovers."