Leftover Surprise

By Andrea Freedman

Yesterday, I decided I would make Sheppard’s pie for last night’s dinner. The trouble was, once the time to make dinner rolled around, I admit to feeling too lazy to peel and mash the potatoes. A light bulb went up over my head; it just so happened that we had had mashed potatoes with something else only a few nights before and I had saved the leftovers.

I remembered putting the remainder of the mashed potatoes in the fridge that night, and having doubts if I would ever use them or if eventually they were sure to end up in the garbage. As thing turned out, I was glad I had kept those potatoes. I wondered briefly if I could get away with recycling three-day old mashed potatoes in a new dinner. I thought of my grandmother saying “I don’t like food wasted” (although she did much prefer cooking with fresh ingredients). I decided that I had nothing to lose and since I was home alone at the time, I figured nobody would be any the wiser. Besides, I didn’t have anything else at home that would make a decent dinner.

Usually I am opposed to putting cheese on top of a Sheppard’s pie, as I find the taste too rich and it adds extra, unnecessary fat and calories. On this particular evening, however, I was more concerned with making a meal that would at least be edible, so this time I actually welcomed the option of using cheese, grateful that I still had just enough in the fridge.

It’s amazing how well a little cheese can camouflage things, and my husband has an extremely discerning pallet. Not only did he not question the freshness of the mashed potatoes, he actually said this Sheppard’s pie was “better than normal”!

It just shows that you never know what you can find in the fridge to lighten your workload when it comes time to prepare dinner.

I wonder if my husband (who is not thrilled about being mentioned in my blog posts to begin with) is laughing right now if he is reading this. I hope he is not feeling sick or too put-off at the thought of having eaten three-day old potatoes, and I hope he can see the humour when he discovers that I deliberately neglected to tell him about it. One thing’s for sure: I bet he will be asking a lot of questions before he eats whatever I make for dinner tonight.♦



Copyright © by Andrea Freedman, 2015


About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on December 13, 2015, in Weekly Thoughts and Observations and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. That sounds like a good idea, but why would you need cheese to make a Sheppard’s Pie. I thought it was just ground meat and mashed potatos. You learn something new everyday I suppose. Good for you!!


  2. There was a trend here a few years ago of adding mustard to mash potato. I was a fan but seeing as nowhere seems to do it now, I must have been in a minority.

    I regularly save leftovers now after starting the habit of doing so when I lived alone for a while. Childhood indoctrination that you must clear your plate is not a habit easily broken!


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