Friday, October 7, 2011


With two pre-teen boys in the house, I don't seem to ever have to worry anymore about what to do with leftovers.  It's more like I need to use a shovel instead of a serving spoon to ladle out their meals, and by the end of dinner our leftovers consist of a half-slice of bread and a smidgen of something else.  But I can remember those distant days when my three daughters were the children around the table, somewhat more finicky, and definitely not as voracious.

So here's a left-over game that I haven't gotten to play in a long time.  When the fridge is starting to fill up with those random, miscellaneous containers that could altogether make up one meal, I pull them out.  Things that need heating, I heat.  Then I put a serving plate under each item, and I put a small piece of money between the food bowl and the serving plate.  Everything goes out on the table.

At dinner time, we pass the food by passing the plate (with the money and then the bowl on top of it).  So nobody except me knows whether the green beans come with a penny, a quarter, or even (rarely) a dollar.  The person who finishes the last food from the bowl gets to keep the money, whatever it happens to be.

The daughters all loved this game.  They'd make pacts ("if you eat the some of the beans for me and let me finish them, I'll give you the potatoes").  They'd eat the last little bit in a bowl just to figure out what was hidden underneath.  They'd try psychology ("Mom wouldn't have put a lot of money under the hamburgers; that one's just going to be a penny.").

This turned left-over night -- a night I remember suffering through as a kid -- into one of our family "fun" meals.  I really miss it.  But unless I get a different serving shovel for the boys, I don't think it's going to happen any time soon.

Coming up Saturday:  Another mouth to feed.

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