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  • Hollie Mealy

For the Love of Leftovers

I have seriously been thinking about this blog post since The Right Relief Inc. was founded! There is something, in my opinion, so satisfying about this magical “food group:” leftovers!


I know many of you (including my husband) think I’m crazy and would not touch a mystery dish in the back of the fridge… but hear me out!


Cooking a nice meal takes some effort. No question. You spend the time shopping, chopping/prepping, cooking, cleaning up…and then it’s done. Gone. Nothing left to show for your hard work. UNLESS…. There happens to be a nice little meal-sized portion for the following day. When you can blissfully pop said portion into the microwave and have a nice warm belly hug with 0 effort. This, my friends, is the magic of leftovers!


I know as a teacher packing a lunch every night for the following day, I had a nice sigh of relief when I could just throw the dinner leftovers into my lunch bag. Easy. No more thought or mess needed. That sigh of relief is what we aim to accomplish for Caregivers when we make large group meals or even when a nice Bodge-size lasagna (with pepperonis) is delivered to a family of 4…plenty left for the next day!


You are probably wondering what “Bodge-size” is referring to. My Dad, Rob, had a nickname in high school? College? And it was “Bodge.” There is a long story associated with this that only really makes sense to my Uncles and Dad’s close friends at the time. Anyway, it stuck and my sister and I often called him Bodge too. So, Bodge-size is any meal portion that is larger than normal. For example, most people cut a pie into 8 slices. Bodge preferred 6 slices. Obviously then a “piece” of pie is bigger than just a ⅛ sliver. Pretty much everyone who sees me cut a pan of lasagna kind of does a gasp at how big the pieces are. I can’t help it, I watched my Dad do it for years! He always wanted guests to feel welcome and to him that meant having a full belly. Hors d'oeuvres before dinner, a big dinner (with some form of bread as a side) and a LARGE helping of dessert were mandatory in our house and for guests!


Some of my Dad’s favorite leftovers were pizza, burgers/brats and any Chinese stir fry dish. My all time favorite was/is homemade mac and cheese. This is also one of the few my husband Kyle and kiddos will eat so it is fought over. A close second is lasagna. Even when it was just Kyle and I before having kids we’d make a whole pan for ourselves and then eat the leftovers for a few days. YUM!


I am always so glad when we can leave packaged up containers with leftovers for guests at Kathy’s House and Ronald McDonald House. Since visiting hours are until 8pm at the hospital some Caregivers don’t have their dinner until then once technically it’s over. But, they are able to grab the meal we made that night and dig in. Nothing beats a late belly hug after being in appointments all day or caring for others.


One last note on microwaving this important food group. I inherited my Dad’s love of “nuclearizing” leftovers. What does this mean? HOT! I seriously cook my leftovers for a solid minute or two longer than Kyle does. Scalding is how I like mine! He calls it nuclear. I recall my Dad not being satisfied with soups until it was literally boiling/bubbling intensely. This did often create a long wait for the microwave LOL! I haven’t had any long term effects from turning my food nuclear… at least that I know of!


Cheers to leftovers!


*Here is a blog POST about how my Dad even made good use of leftover Halloween candy to make milkshakes!*


My favorite leftovers: mac & cheese

Recipe Blog

One of our favorites: taco pizza!

Easy pizza crust RECIPE blog

Leftover pizza in the Kathy's House fridge

Our first meal at Ronald McDonald House: lasagna

Only 3 pieces left! RECIPE

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