I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The memory lingers on

Leftovers. I’m the Papal Nuncio of leftovers. Very much in favour. Unlike Edna, my late mother-in-law, who threw ‘em all away. But she’d had a hard life and, having married a chef, didn’t see the point, saw them as reminders of the hard life.

A week ago we had streaky pork slices, marinaded, then deep grilled along one edge. There were a few left. Mrs RR cut them into cubes, cubed and boiled a large potato along with a chopped onion, added a skinned tomato, wrapped the lot in a flap of short pastry and – through the Neff’s magic – turned it into a pasty. Pasty-ising adds subtle flavour to these simple ingredients. Mrs RR’s been doing it for decades. Time to recognise it as a family classic, I said.

A cylinder of brisket becomes a sort of calendar. Day one, eaten hot with vegetables, day two, the cylinder shrinks as we have cold slices with a baked potato, day three, sandwich filling to go with a mug of soup.

My invention. I microwave a small bowl of leftover meat-thick stew and ooze it over two slices of buttered toast. Eat with knife and fork.

Remainder of pork joint is cubed. Cubed potato, grated carrot, and chopped onion are boiled in same pan, mashed, mixed herbs added. Meat and veg combined, wavy design imposed on top with a fork. Into the Neff for shepherds pie.

None of this is haute cuisine. Merely eating what we ate earlier in a different form. But there’s a (possibly West Riding) frisson about not being wasteful.

When we have sausages (Herefordshire is sausage rich) Mrs RR puts one of hers to one side. They taste best eaten cold, she says. Often she shares the cold one with unworthy me. 


  1. I am a lover of left overs. Rule 1 Treat them as first timers. Rearange what is left so that it looks appetising and interesting. Garnish it even but with something that will be an ingredientof the next dish. This will inspire inventiveness when the time comes to give it new life.

  2. Oh that's love!

    The perfect pasty never quite happens, either made by me or someone else. Like coffee, they can never taste as good as they smell.

    My sister puts leftover sausage in chicken pie. It's wonderful, I'd do it myself but I like always being surprised when she does it.

    Beef pot roast this week for us too - basse cote whatever that is in English. With Yorkshire pud first night, then in stew with dumplings (that should really have been it's last gasp but Tom fancied it on Monday), then curry, my that mirabelle chutney was good with the poppadums! And still a few shreds left to go with mushrooms in a pie tomorrow (we had one night off having had lunch out).

    I love leftovers too, and stretching things.

  3. Joe: I agree about appearance but often the most life-affirming dishes like daubes and casseroles are not amenable to decoration and merely require reheating (after which they magically take on a stickier, more viscous even more flavoury form). A stew second time around takes on moral implications. Gobble it all up first time and one denies oneself its superior reappearance. A perfect example of the values of restraint. I am also in favour of edible rather than merely aesthetic garnish.

    Lucy: Love, yes. Because as I reach out for my undeserved chunk (usually under the poached-cod gaze of Huw Edwards, kicking off the ten o'clock news) I must always guiltily ask myself if I would have returned the favour. As a result I am careful never to put myself in that position.

    That's an angelic touch by your sister. As I say, Herefordshire sausages are truly celestial.

    Plus the gorgeous diminuendo (in volume only, never in interest and/or flavour) for your bass cote, during which there are implicit clues to consultation ("Tom fancied... ") which are as warming as the prog itself.

    Tentative slogan: Leftovers unite families with the right priorities.

  4. Not on this subject, but just noticed your name etc on the header photo. It is on your window and would look better if you could manipulate it to be in perspective with the window so appears to be placed on same.

  5. Sir Hugh: I realised about the incorrect plane. But I'd already done some Photoshop preparation so that the words would stand out better and reckoned that would be enough. I think my days of exploring software are over. I know it sounds hoity-toity but I'm better off writing