Leftover Madness

| February 26, 2020 7:32 AM

A classic G. George Ostrom Column from 1998...

First wife Iris is a wonderful cook and I am eternally grateful for the fine meals she turns out with unwavering skill. That is why I have difficulty understanding how I got into such a mess this week. Maybe I’m “going through the changes.”

Late Sunday afternoon, Iris took the grandkids to a movie about bugs up in Whitefish. Before leaving she told me, “You’re on your own tonight for supper. There are a lot of wonderful leftovers in the frig.”

Upon arriving home she claimed I should have warmed up macaroni and cheese and a piece of salmon. Iris said, “By gorging on half a banana cream pie for your supper, you are acting ‘too good’ to eat leftovers. You’re completely spoiled.”

My explanation was that if a pie has a piece or two missing when I find it, that means it has been served in the past, is therefore a leftover, and should be consumed right away to avoid possible spoilage. She did not buy one word of that carefully planned explanation.

In an attempt to negotiate peace, I offered to not vie for the remainder of the “leftover” pie, and suggested she and Shannon could share the piece I’d left…with no interference from me.

Rejection of some second-time stew Monday noon in favor of a peanut butter sandwich again raised hackles. Iris also flat out rejected my reasoning that once a jar of peanut butter has been opened it becomes “leftovers.”

At that point, I naively thought it might help to prove my point with a dictionary. The Third Edition of Webster’s “New World Dictionary” says, “leftover n. 1. something leftover 2. (usually pl) food left from one meal and, often eaten at a later meal.” I read that to Iris. Without batting an eye she made a short speech,

“That’s nice but I don’t see Noah Webster doing any cooking around here. I’ll decide what is a ‘leftover’ in this house.

A big pie baked less than 24 hours earlier is not qualified. An open jar of peanut butter is NEVER leftovers. Next thing I know you’ll be trying to tell me your evening toddy is leftovers because the bottle has been previously opened.”

It is almost supper time as I write in my den Tuesday. If there was somebody here to bet with, I’d wager my bottom dollar I’m going to have leftover macaroni and cheese with a side dish of leftover stew. I will not get even a sniff of leftover banana cream pie, and I will not say one negative word about anything on that table.

Maybe I should have a double of that… “leftover” brandy.