When I was growing up, we didn’t have a lot. We had what we needed and not much more, but I never knew that back then. We didn’t have fancy meals at home and eating out was rare. I can remember a lot of beans and potatoes with cornbread. I loved all three, so I didn’t mind.
Another thing I remember is becoming a wife and mother myself, and again not having a lot. It was much more difficult when I was the one having to put the meals together when the fridge and pantry were bare. Wasting food was not an option. If anything was left after a meal, it went into the fridge and was either put back out for the next meal or somehow incorporated into another meal. You get real creative when you don’t have much, and your kids are hungry.
If there were only a few of two or three vegetables, I’d slice them up and fry them together. My kids loved fried yellow squash, okra and green tomatoes. In the summer time when fresh vegetables were plentiful, we had that a lot. It’s something you never tire of.
We also had Friday night soup. Friday night soup has a pound of ground beef and most any vegetable (peas, beans, potoatoes, corn or carrots) that was left over in the fridge from ealier that week. Using broth or tomato juice, it turns into a hearty vegetable & beef soup/stew. I served it with crackers or leftover cornbread, if there was any of that.
Another favorite, still today, is potato patties. If we ever had left over mashed potatoes, just add a little flour and some small diced onions. Mix it all up and spoon them into a frying pan with a little oil. Potato patties are the best. You can even make them from leftover fried potatoes by just smashing them up good, adding your onions and frying little cakes.
My point in this blog is….no waste. In today’s world we throw out everything that we don’t use. In some cases, I understand that, but when it comes to food, I do not. This world is full of hungry people and food is thrown out like yesterdays trash. The sad part is the amount of money we spend on groceries each week, only to throw most of it out.
Use your leftovers. Create unique dishes from what you have left. It’s amazing the things you can come up with. This post may be continued later with more clever ideas for leftovers. Stay tuned for more.