Why Life is Like Leftovers

Foodie Friday

Mar 25, 2011 by

Sometimes it’s better the next day…other times not. Sometimes it’s worse (and how’s that for a cheery “be your best self” affirmation? 😉

There seems to be a universal law re trying new recipes.  The more you make of something, the more likely you’ll hate it – and when you live alone, that’s a LOT of regret…and guilt.  But, I’ve slowly learn to let.it.go.  Really. Out it goes and I continue on my journey to the light.

Used to, I’d let the big ol’ pile of blech sit in the fridge, reproaching me for waste, every time I opened the door.  I couldn’t bring myself to eat the stuff, but I couldn’t throw it away either (Can’t we all hear our Moms right now?  Starving children in China, etc.)  Then, after the ghastly concoction had sat in the fridge for a week, NOT aging gracefully, I’d bundle it up and throw in it the freezer.  Where it’d sit, frozen in a mysterious block, reproaching me every time I opened THAT door….sometimes I’d even have to move it to get to the vodka…What the hell is this? Why is it in here?  Oh yeah.  *Sigh*  I CAN’T throw it out!

Then, six months or even a year later, in a frenzy of cleaning, I’d – you guess it – throw it out.  Ah! The freedom! The lightness of being! The new easy access to the vodka!

Then again – some things are actually better the next day and with a little age.  Beans (made from scratch, with dried beans and your own spices, not out of the can.) Mac ‘n cheese (ridiculously easy to make from scratch).  Pasta sauce. Homemade salsa.  Thanksgiving turkey (but only for that turkey/cranberry sauce/stuffing/hot roll sandwich later that night or next day lunch.)  Gives the flavors time to meld, mellow and deepen.

We’ll pause here for a sec and consider all the analogies that can be drawn from clean fridges, cooking from scratch, mellowing with age, and using up what you have…’k. Moving on. Here’s a simple, better with a little age recipe for you. You’ll never have to buy jarred salsa again.

Basic, All-Time Good Salsa

You’ll Need

One blender

A big can of tomatoes, with the juice (I use Muir Glen organic) Throw in a couple of fresh, skins, seeds and all if you like.

Peeled cloves of garlic (I use three or four, or more, depending on size – but I love garlic, and – ahem – don’t date.  Up to you how many. Start with one and see how it goes.)

One small or half of a big red onion, roughly chopped

As many serrano or jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped, as you want for heat.  I’m a chile head, so it’s usually about four.  For normal folks, this’d probably be more like two.  You’ll have to play with this recipe a bit to hit your optimum.

About a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

A good sprinkle of salt (I just dash it in there, it’s probably about a teaspoon.)

Optional: About a handful of fresh cilantro


Blend on “chop” until it looks like salsa, like about two seconds.

Pour in a clean, washed Miracle Whip jar (okay, I love the new wide-mouth plastic jars, but you can use your jar of choice).  Let sit on the counter for a couple of hours to let the flavors meld.

Keeps in the fridge for about a week.  Also good to put on hot angel hair pasta, with a nob or two of buttah, for a quickie dinner. Grate asiago and/or parm on. Sprinkle a little fresh chopped cilantro or parsley, if you have it.  Put serving on a small plate to control your portion.  Eat. Get up and get second helping, maybe add a little butter and salsa.  While you’re up, pour that second glass of vino. At the end of the week, you can dump any remaining salsa into that pot of pasta sauce you’re making on Sunday.

Now, I’m going to get out my blender…breakfast tacos this weekend! Yum!

Note: Above image is from The Reluctant Vegetarian.  Check out her blog; some good thoughts and recipes. This one for lentil loaf sounds great. I’m not reluctant but I do fall off the veggie wagon on occasion.  Ah, those leftover turkey/cranberry sauce/stuffing sandwiches.

About the Author

Mary Schmidt Has Written 26 Articles For Us!

Mary is a proud Corporate America refugee, having long ago decided that quality of life is far more important than quantity of stuff. However, that said, she thinks money is a very good thing - when used as a tool, not a success measurement. In addition to writing for us, she blogs about business development and marketing at www.maryschmidt.com and about marketing to and by women at www.lipsticking.com. In her consulting business, her clients have ranged from mega-corps such as Hewlett-Packard to local Mom & Pops.
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1 Comment

  1. You inspired me to clean out the fridge. Now I’m ready for breakfast tacos!

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