What to do with extras?

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Marlingardener

Senior Cook
Joined
Apr 24, 2022
Messages
262
Location
unincorporated area
I cook for the two of us and, having no self-control, often make too much. We know an elderly woman who is housebound and receives meals on wheels, but not on Sundays. I take her a plate of hot food for Sunday lunch. That takes care of some extras.
Also, we garden. The lack of self-control kicks in and I plant too much of everything. Lucky that the local food bank can accept fresh produce. Now I can get rid of all that extra Swiss chard, squash, etc.
What do you do with your "extras"?
 

JohnDB

Cook
Joined
Oct 12, 2022
Messages
76
Location
Nashville tn
I invite myself to dinner with friends. I come to their house and finish a prepped meal and leave the leftovers for an informal night of adult time. (A lot of my friends have children of various ages)

It works. They get the cleaning but they also get the leftovers. I get to show off and have a great time.

All good in my book.
 

Roll_Bones

Master Chef
Joined
Oct 19, 2013
Messages
5,694
Location
Southeast US
We have the same issues. And these issues lead to food waste. We do freeze most of our leftovers and have them again. For example we ate the same dinner three nights in a row as we did not freeze that one. We are very good about not wasting cooked food.
But we are terrible when it comes to garden vegetables. I have jalapeno, shishsito and pablamo peppers still on the plants. The pablamo are over 6' tall and just covered with peppers.
I need to do something with them.
But most likely I pick all of them (we have had below freezing nights) bring them in and then they go bad. I guess I could jar the jalapeno and dry the pablamo?
The shishito are all red now.
 

blissful

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
5,039
We can a lot, freeze some, dehydrate some, and share with neighbors. I made 3 gallons of sauerkraut which was perfect this week, and brought the neighbors that like sauerkraut big containers of it.

Right now I have cooked chopped carrots in the dehydrator. Greens can be blanched and frozen, or dehydrated and powdered to add to food in winter. Peppers we wash clean and chop, if they are hot, we put them in jars with vinegar/water/salt and keep them in the fridge, or diced bell peppers in the freezer, these can also be dehydrated and used in winter.

@Roll_Bones bones-those poblano peppers! Those would be good canned, or frozen, or dried, what a bounty you have!
 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
Joined
Sep 1, 2004
Messages
49,798
Location
Massachusetts
As some of you may have noticed in the dinner threads, we have leftovers regularly. It's often intentional. not only because recipes make more than enough for two people, but because we want a night off from cooking. Sometimes I'll try a new recipe and it's not received well. That's another story. Last resort is to toss it. If SO doesn't like it, I'll eat it.
 

Badjak

Senior Cook
Joined
Dec 24, 2010
Messages
188
I freeze, pickle, dehydrate and if still anything left, give away or exchange for something I don't grow

I make different types of sambals & chutneys and sell at farmers markets
 

Cooking Goddess

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Jul 21, 2009
Messages
16,072
Location
Body in MA ~ Heart in OH
Like @Andy M., we often have planned leftovers. I do try to have enough on hand for two people the day I go grocery shopping. That way I don't have to think about making supper after I've come home from hitting a couple of stores. Without leftovers on a shopping day I am forced, forced, I tell you, to stop along the way and get take-out. Sad state of affairs...
 

pepperhead212

Executive Chef
Joined
Nov 21, 2018
Messages
3,738
Location
Woodbury, NJ
I always have leftovers in the freezer, that I can thaw in the MW - the reason I make extras of just about everything that freezes well, and freeze in 1 or 2 serving amounts. I got my freezer so packed this summer that I've had to resort to making 1 loaf batches of bread, and cook smaller batches of some things, so I'd only eat 2 or 3 batches of leftovers, but nothing going in the freezer. Soon I'll be eating more from the freezer, to make room.

I never really have extra, STS, though some friends and neighbors get some of my veggies.
 
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Kaneohegirlinaz

Wannabe TV Chef
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
7,896
Location
Central/Northern AZ, gateway to The Grand Canyon
@Marlingardener I intentionally make more than what we two could eat at one meal. I like to have leftover hot meals for later when I'm busy or too tired to cook.
As to extra produce, back home in Hawaii most folks have something edible growing and the extras, folks will take an old cardboard box, fill it this or that, write on the side of the box in big bold letters, FREE.
And most of the DC community knows that I share food with our neighbors, not only next to us but I take stuff down to our Community Center and leave a bit of whatever I want to share next to the free-serve-yourself Coffee in the lounge area.
I place my calling card next to the tray so that folks will know where it came from and it has been tampered with.
 

cookiecrafter

Senior Cook
Joined
Aug 10, 2021
Messages
296
Location
Chicago
Maybe I,m the only one. I usually re-purpose leftovers. When my late husband made sloppy joes, his recipe made enough for fifty sandwiches. Even when I batched it into meal portions, it was a lot. One day I just rinsed off the sauce using a big strainer and made tacos. I've been using up my leftovers like this ever since.

If you made something costly and you do not like it, the rule of thumb is never try to salavage it. It will only turn into something worse and double the amount.
 

Kathleen

Cupcake
Joined
Dec 6, 2009
Messages
3,493
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA
I will also eat dinner leftovers for lunch...or even breakfast, if I do not want to eat it for multiple nights. I also will freeze it if too much is there or make a care-package or extra lunch for people I know.
 
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