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WalkerSpeak: Shhh! Leftovers. But Who Can Tell?

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Leftovers3The only mandate my mate has ever made about meals served in our house is that leftovers appear once. That’s it.  I understand the childhood scars he bears concerning leftovers, so I’m happy to comply.

This has little to do with the photo of the owl in a tree that you see here. But there is a tenuous connection.

Halfway through making a let’s-clean-out-the-refrigerator-meal on Saturday, I heard some jays in the front yard trees raising an angry ruckus.  This is always worth checking out. First, it may that a baby jay has fallen from the nest and now needs rescuing from the jaws of a cat.

Second, it could mean that there is a predator afoot. Or a-wing.  I grabbed the binoculars and headed outside. It took a few  moments to locate the Great Horned Owl, since he blends in so well with a tree branch. But the jays and mockingbirds were dive-bombing him, which gave me a hint. I had time to take a photo before the bird fixed me with a spooky stare, then jumped off the branch to wing away slowly with a noisy escort of jays and mockingbirds.

After this excitement, it was back to making dinner.  I know this is a silly way to think, but I decided that seeing the owl was my reward for righteously using up food that was nearing its past-due date.

Here is our menu:  I suggest this fridge-cleaning meal as a fun exercise for any cook — it saves money and exercises the imagination.

  • Grilled steaks:  Leftovers from the freezer, still in good shape. After thawing, we put a good layer of Montreal Steak Seasoning on them and cooked them outside.
  • Potato and sweet potato fries.  Made with one russet and one sweet potato that had been hanging around for more than a week in a basket on the counter. I also opened a bottle of grapeseed oil, an oil I’d not used before. It has a high smoke point and a light flavor. The fries tasted very good.
  • Steamed cubes of butternut squash mixed with beet greens, left over from a roasted vegetable salad we made earlier in the week.
  • “Melted” tomato halves, drizzled with olive oil and speckled with sea salt, baked in a slow (300 degree) oven.
  • Homemade Herbed Buttermilk Parmesan Bread, from buttermilk that needed to be used right away, and a quarter-cup or so of already-grated Parmesan cheese  left over from an Italian meal earlier.
  • Raspberry pie. The Pillsbury crust was a month past its due date, but in pretty good shape, having been kept refrigerated. The berries were in packages in the freezer and I worried that they might be freezer burned. But, no, after rinsing off the light covering of frost and heating them in a pan with sugar, they were perfectly good. I just added a little almond extract and cinnamon.

Link to these recipes:


Herbed Buttermilk Parmesan Bread


Raspberry Pie


Beet Greens and Butternut Squash

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One Response to “WalkerSpeak: Shhh! Leftovers. But Who Can Tell?”

  1. Pingo says:

    Hello Bonnie,
    This is funny, I grew up with making stews and soups for several days. They always improved, and we ate them with gusto.
    Personally, I love left overs, but serving left overs in my family is a “no-no”. I have to disguise it. If I tell them, that the fajita steak quesadillas are left over from yesterday’s take home dinner, they just won’t eat them, so I just don’t tell, and they think I made a fabulous meal.
    Hope you will come up with some more left-over recipes in the future. I am making your beet greens w/the butternut squash and the parmesan bread tonight. Serving that with a couple of cod loins, I bought a couple of days ago, but didn’t use (and froze).