I love to cook and spend most of the day each Sunday cooking meals for the week (hey I hear you moaning!). I know it’s very ‘Martha Stewart-y’ of me but I love it. My kids love it too and most of the time we make four different dinners, three desserts, and some bread on Sundays. We experiment with different recipes and try new things and I contend it is because we do this as a family that I have three really good eaters.
Anyhoo, most of the time we end up with left over food from each meal which ends up in the fridge to slowly rot for a week or so until the furry mold smell alerts me that it is too late to salvage it. A few weeks ago though, I had a brilliant idea: freeze the leftovers! (hey I hear you gasping and applauding!). Not revolutionary and quite obvious and yet I virtually never do it. Soup is the exception where I purposely make twice as much and freeze it and then on a cold Saturday in January we have a big group of people over and eat through the soups. Yummy.
I have never liked the idea of leftovers. I have always called it ‘used food.’ But a few weeks ago we tried some new recipes and two were delicious, risotto and beef stew. I thought about the fact that practically every day at work I pull a Lean Cuisine out of the freezer and heat it up without thinking twice, what was my hang up with freezing leftovers? In a bold move, I froze the risotto and stew in single serving bags and put them in the freezer. I wasn’t even sure risotto would be any good after being frozen but I knew if I put it in the fridge it would just end up in the trash anyway so I took a chance.
Tonight was the night of the unveiling. I had a somewhat stressful day and last Sunday was spent at a horse show instead of cooking so I had nothing ready to go. I had plenty of time to cook a real meal but not the desire so instead of making a boxed mac and cheese or offering cereal (my usual lazy day back ups) I decided to thaw both the risotto and stew. They were AWESOME. It didn’t even seem like leftovers! The only problem with the whole thing was that as my kids sat eating and mmmmm-ing I felt like I had cheated. They were having an awesome meal and I didn’t even have to cook! I do know of course that I DID cook just a few weeks ago but the ease of a great meal on stressful day was almost too good to be true.
I feel like I won the lottery and can’t wait to work through this ‘cheating’ feeling by having leftovers again soon!