The Leftovers

Someone asked me today where my "leftover tradition" came from. I tend to leave a little bit of food in the pan of the meal I've created, be it for me or me and someone else. I have a few reasons why, it turns out. Who knew my obsession with food went levels deep?

Sneaky Diet Shade
Sometimes I'll break up a single serving into two, just to make myself feel like I'm eating more or really "going back for seconds". I try to trick my brain into thinking I'm getting a treat of MORE FOOD! When I'm with someone who's watching their weight, I do the same. For some reason it makes me feel good.

I'm Cheap and Lazy
Rather than leave a single serving of pasta or a few fingerling potatoes around, I'll cook more than the amount my man and I will share. That way I'm guaranteed left overs for lunch or even later that night. If I ziplock, tie, tape or freeze any remaining ingredients, it's a surefire way to wasteland because I'll never touch those ingredients again and a future meal has been wiped out of the running.

It's My Gift to the World
Growing up, I never really had an outstanding skill. I didn't play an instrument, I wasn't inclined to play sports (though my mother would probably say I had a body like a linebacker) and I wasn't classically beautiful offering up my visage to the pedestals of prom, student government or the boys in the band.

I could cook though. When I got to college I experimented with meatballs in my dorm kitchen toaster. When I had a summer apartment, it was fresh scallops and garlic from the farmer's market in Boston. I was known for bringing rice-a-roni to dinners, but as I grew it was chili, meatballs, fancy pastas or quinoa salad friends would request.

When I cook for people, I enjoy it. I like providing someone with a sense of comfort, nourishment and relaxation. You can be YOU around me. Wanna eat ramen with your bare hands? I'm in. Need to go eat bone marrow at a fancy restaurant and have white linens and warmed hand towels? I'll lick my fingers when no one is looking.

So when I'm cooking dinner, I'm a bit vain thinking folks will want seconds of what I made. I like leaving a little bit extra for someone else even if it means I'll have less myself. It's my little treat to the person enjoying a good meal. I'm extending that feel good moment for them.

Am I weird? Maybe. Am I obsessed with food and the emotional triggers attached? Probably. Do I need to lay off the Food Network and stop spending my whole paycheck on grocery store tours? Most definitely.

But I'm still going to plan and meal prep like I'm feeding an army.


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