The Complete Book of Leftovers
by Diane Haugen
Back in the days of The Whole Earth Catalog, there were lots of food remnants cluttering up refrigerators. After all, in the clean plate society, nothing should be thrown away. But what were we to do with these nutritious morsels? Thrift cooks had a number of ways to dispose of leftovers with a clear conscience.
The Golden Age of Processed Foods has rid us of many of those old kitchen gremlin leftovers, along with the old fashioned recipes that made good use of the remains. However, with the new-found interest in raw foods as a lifestyle, these old gremlins are creeping back into our refrigerators and ultimately into our garbage disposals. Thrift? Right down that garbage disposal along with the celery strings and beet tops.
Unfortunately, many of the well-meaning cooks working their way through the new age shift from processed to raw foods have lost their connection to the source of much of what we eat. Raw food is back to basics. Back to those recipes in yellowed cookbooks with lists of ingredients like "butter the size of an egg."
The other missing ingredient in this shift back to basics is the household member, be she grandmother, aunt, or mom, who knew the directions between the lines, the explanations that aren't there with those old lists of ingredients.
With just four recipes, and the directions between the lines (no book for dummies here), any dedicated refrigerator cleaner can extract every bit of nutrition from leftovers before they become those green things that go bump in the night.
- Diane Haugen, December 2012
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