We’ve all stood in front of the refrigerator, scanning the shelves, ignoring a week’s worth of leftovers while looking for something to eat. Many times this process repeats itself until leftovers spoil and need to discarded. While food is one of the most biodegradable things you can throw away and generally won’t cause damage in a landfill, it’s never a good idea to waste.
My father use to have a morning ritual to solve this conundrum that I have altered slightly. Every Saturday morning, he would gather the left-overs from the week (often including spaghetti, hot dogs, casserole etc), beat four eggs and combine the end result into something my family referred to as a “vomlelette” based on the unique smell that would fill our kitchen. Coming from a poor home and a military background where three squares often meant a box of cereal for the day or some plastic MRE packets, it’s easy to understand Dad’s mentality.
Even with a support system my father never had, I share his passion for not wasting food and have adopted my own style of refurbishing leftovers, the Leftwich. The main difference between the Leftwich and the Vomelette is the base. Obviously with a scrambled egg base, there is freedom to use any ingredients because there is no bread to get soggy. For this reason, bread is paramount to maintaining the integrity of the Leftwich and not something that can be skimped on. A big piece of crusty Italian or French bread is often hearty enough to stand up and I often have flatbread in the cabinet for its high-toaster tolerance.
Clearly not everyone cares to be a sandwich savant but for those with a bold palate, some quality bread and a fridge full of leftovers, the checklist below is for you:
Incomplete Rules of the Leftwich:
- Use quality bread that can withstand the toaster and a heaping of ingredients
- Always put a layer of cheese next to the bread as it protects other sandwich elements from soaking in and creating sogginess
- Let condiments be the difference – roast beef 3rd day in a row, add some horseradish or Dijon and slaw for a different taste
- Staples to compliment Leftwich: lettuce, tomato, pickle, yellow pepper rings, onions, mayo , BBQ sauce, three kinds of mustard, two different cheeses
- Meat is not necessary, a hummus, bean and veggie sandwich packs a protein punch
- Toast generously – a nice dry heat can fuse flavors together
- Season/Spice generously – If the thought of eating leftovers makes you cringe, add a healthy dose of hot sauce or red pepper
When considered, by men especially, the sandwich is probably the one meal we eat more than any other meal whether it is a grilled cheese during youth, a steak bomb in college or a gourmet boursin, heirloom tomato and Blackforest ham sandwich in adulthood. Already the ultimate comfort food, you can feel a little more comfortable knowing the money spent on groceries is going in your mouth, not in the trash.
Posted by: Nick