Friday, January 14, 2011

Fun ways to eat Leftovers

We are going out of town shortly and I needed to clear out my fridge of leftovers.  The "L" word in my house does not go over well.  It goes something like this:
"Mom, what's for dinner?"
"Leftovers, we need to clear out the fridge."
"What else is there?" (before he even knows what the leftovers consist of)
"Nothing, we need to clear out the fridge."
"Can I make my self a sandwich?"
"NO. We are having leftovers."
"I just want a jar of peanut butter."......this goes on to the point of not-so-pretty....hopefully I'm not the only one that has had this conversation. :)

So I came up with this creative way to pass leftover dinner night off as a fun night. "Smith Leftover Cafe'"

I printed a 1/2 page  list of what we had in the fridge that I wanted gone.  I added a circle bullet so the kids could check what they wanted.  To my amazement, there was no fighting, no "what else is there" and no griping!
I think giving them the power to choose what they got to eat was the key.  That way it's on them if they don't like what they chose.  I'm not the "mean mom" that makes them eat tacos 3 times in one week. ☺ My oldest son told me "This is awesome!" when I handed him a menu and the younger two ran around the house trying to find dad to give him his menu.

I've also heard of people doing "leftover surprise or mystery" dinners.  They wrap the leftovers in Tinfoil and everyone chooses a package.  What ever package you get is your dinner for the night.  At my house this would inevitably end in a fight.  We have some picky eaters (myself included unfortunately) that would freak out if they got something they didn't want. (I wouldn't freak out, but I would probably rig the system ;)  But if you are blessed with a family of good eaters, this might work for you.

What ways do you make eating leftovers fun?  Do you have any creative ideas?
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