Credit: National Museum of American History
July 3, 2020 ~
We’ve made many good meals over the last few weeks. We always have some leftover. At some point, one must dispose of the extras piling up in the fridge by either consuming or tossing them. Conservationtionists at heart we find ways to use them.
According to the National Museum of American History, the term leftovers was coined in the late 1890s. Over the next several decades the concept of food conservation grew beginning in earnest in 1917 with slogans like this:
“Food waste in the household, the experts assert, results in large measure from . . . failing to serve and utilize food not consumed.”
–U.S. Department of Agriculture poster, 1917
By the Great Depression, the idea of leftovers was an obsession in households across America:“Leftovers Shouldn’t Be Left Over,” Good Housekeeping magazine, 1930
It was a trend that continued through WWII:
We are in good company with food conservation nights. As many of us have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic food supply chains are not what we are used to. We have sometimes “settled” for food choices we would not ordinarily purchase. To avoid unnecessary exposure to the virus we cook with what we have on hand because we only shop once a week. We have often made adjustments to recipes because we did not have a specific ingredient in stock. We make it work and we make it as delicious as we can because it is one way we are getting through this challenging, sometimes boring, anxious, uncertain time in our lives.
For this dinner, Kate pulled out of the fridge all of the leftover pork meals from the last few days and the sides: pulled pork, pork with gravy, and pork skewers. We had a little of this and a little of that. No calories were counted and all of our tastebuds were satisfied.
Until the next time!