Schrödinger’s Leftovers

Today I’m opening the fridge doors of my brain and combining my questionable leftovers to create this week’s meal… erm, post:

The bright spot of my week came from jenny_o’s blog, Procrastinating Donkey.  She mentioned an article about a raccoon that climbed over 70 storeys up a construction crane and then took a dump (or, as the media delicately described it, “made a poo”) before climbing down again.  The article is over two years old but somehow I had missed it the first time around, and I laughed until I could do nothing but slump in my chair clutching my aching belly and wiping away tears of mirth.

It’s tempting to believe that the raccoon was stating its opinion on human construction in general and the crane in particular; but the truth is probably much more prosaic.  Its sphincter was likely clenched during the whole climb, and when it arrived at the top and looked over the edge it had a perfectly natural response.  I’d probably shit myself, too, if I looked down to see nothing but 700 feet of empty air under me.  Just looking at the photo makes my butt pucker.

And speaking of terrifying views…

I was walking past the book display in Superstore when I glanced over at the books in the children’s section.  I froze in mid-stride, my jaw dropping as a horrific thought flashed through my mind:  “Good God, somebody published a children’s book about Donald Trump!”

An understandable mistake, yes?

Fortunately for my sanity, I was wrong.  But I’m still shuddering at the thought of a ‘touch & feel’ book that includes a swatch of Trump’s hair.  Blargh!  Now I need to go and wash my hands for about half an hour.  And while I’m at it, I’d like to rinse out my brain, preferably with brain bleach.

And on the topic of rinsing out icky stuff…

The other day I was cleaning the Soggy-Something-Or-Others (SSOOs) out of the drain after washing dishes.  I removed them gingerly (that word always makes me smirk, since I am a ginger) with my fingertips, ’cause, ew; right?  Then I had to chuckle over the fact that less than half an hour ago I’d been gobbling that very food with enthusiasm; and after floating around in hot soapy water the SSOOs were actually cleaner than what I’d just put in my mouth.

But that just proves Schrödinger’s Law of Leftovers:  If you believe a leftover is safe to eat in any given instant, you can eat it and be perfectly fine.  But if you believe it’s rotten, that same leftover eaten at that same instant will make you sick.

Which creates those awkward moments where I look in the fridge and think, “Yeah, it’s probably okay to eat that… but… maybe not.”

And I don’t throw it away because it’s probably still okay; but Hubby and I each know in our heart of hearts that we won’t eat it.  I don’t know why we don’t just figure out that if we’re having doubts about eating it now, we sure as hell won’t eat it after it’s been putrefying and/or petrifying for another 24 hours.

But that would make too much sense.  And hey; Schrödinger’s Leftovers.  It’s probably just fine…

What’s cooking in your world this week?

33 thoughts on “Schrödinger’s Leftovers

  1. Define leftovers. Tanya cooks huge quantities of food at a time (all from scratch) and we live on it for days. Borsch or other soups being one that we boil up for a meal periodically for several days. Some things we freeze and can stretch them out longer that way. Ella and her mom never served leftovers; they always transmogrified into something new. Even if it was only Enthusiasm or Refrigerator soup.


    • We love leftovers and usually cook far more for each meal than the two of us can eat. It saves us cooking something each and every day. And some things are better the next day(s) anyway… like borscht. YUM!


  2. Laughing at the entire post from raccoon crap ( I have a height thing so I’m with the poor critter)…to leftovers. In our household my wife cooks and I do dishes…works for us…famous question and answer while I am cleaning up….want me to keep the “whatever was tonights meal?”…..”please, just put “whatever” in a container and we can heat it up later.” Ok…so we both know full well that all we are doing is packing the food for a week long trip in the fridge, never…ever to be reheated….why ask, I often ask myself….why ask:)


  3. I had to laugh when I read your blog today. I’m a few days away from my annual pilgrimage to Camp Mini Ha Ha and am facing that very task myself–cleaning out the fridge. All of what you said is true. Some weeks (months?) back I was faced with a slightly expired full tub of yogurt. I questioned it then but put it back anyway. Now it’s REALLY expired. (And how does one know when yogurt expires anyway?) The rest of it I’m pretty sure about (eww!).


    • That yogurt question is one that Hubby poses frequently: “Why would you even eat something that’s half-rotten even when it’s supposedly good?”
      The nice thing about yogurt and sour cream is that they stay all nicely sealed in their plastic containers, and you can throw the whole thing out without disturbing the contents. 😉

      Enjoy Mini Ha Ha – I’ll look forward to seeing your projects on Facebook!


  4. I think I’m like you with leftover food, Diane. I save it, thinking it may ‘come in’ and then throw it away the next day. We must be programmed that way, as it makes no sense really. It doesn’t even save time!


  5. So, Schrodinger’s cat walks into a bar… and doesn’t walk into a bar.
    And throws up a fur ball… and doesn’t throw up a fur ball.

    That takes care of the cat but why the raccoon climbed 70 stories up a crane to take a dump, I have no idea.

    Now don’t get me started on why the chicken crossed the road. [Maybe to get away from a children’s book on Donald Trump.]


  6. Oh that raccoon story is hilarious. Yes I can appreciate the raccoon may have had some gastrointestinal instincts kick in once he realized where his shenanigans had landed him.
    Here we are seeing how many warm clothes we can pack in a carry on for our trip to Ireland next week.


  7. That picture of the cat with the “fur” on top, at first glance looked more like a hole in his head and the reference to Trump — some of his comments are like he’s got a hole in his head — people “dump” things in that “hole” and he says the first thing that comes out. Can’t still believe that we ended up with him.

    Leftovers — there are very few things I will put in the refrigerator and definitely know I will eat them later. I’ll usually try & give leftovers (after the dinner) to my guests. After spending most of the afternoon preparing them, I’m really not interested in eating them later.

    Should probably clean out the refrigerator a little more often. You know when I discover that partially used carton of sour cream, block of cheese, lunch meat, veggies & fruit that have all mysteriously gotten pushed to the back of the fridge and now are various shades of green, black, some indescribable color or those that look normal until you put hand on them and then you realize that what was once firm is now mush (recently found a zucchini that had gotten covered up). Yuck!!!


    • EW! There’s nothing grosser (if that isn’t a word, it should be) than a squishy slimy cucumber or zuke that’s turned itself into soup when you weren’t looking! I’m usually pretty good about rotating food in the fridge, but every now and then things get away from me and I end up spelunking in the depths to retrieve a technicolor science experiment. But at least once the leftovers are at that stage, there’s no debate over whether they’re still edible. 😉


  8. We have been impacted by Hurricane Irma and have no power. Have packed up food and moved too friend who lost power two days later. Moved to son and family, wife, three kids, two dogs two cats. went pack to house and packed up entire fridge and freezer. Since hubby is the cook there were tons of leftovers, now shit-canned. When we get power back, maybe by midnight friday (six days) we get to start all over. down with leftovers. I don’t know how my DIL does it, but she cooks every night and no leftovers and no one leaves the table hungry.


    • Oh, I’m so sorry to hear Irma got you! Thank goodness you’re all okay and still have a house to go back to; but what a shame about all that food going bad. We have two fridges and two chest freezers, and the thought of losing all that is just sickening (and it would be damn expensive, too). I hope you were able to get everything out of the fridges/freezers before it rotted – that would be a horrible cleanup.

      Sending good thoughts your way, with fingers crossed that you regain power and normalcy soon!


  9. I’m tickled to pieces that you liked the raccoon story! I can’t blame the little guy, either – as long as you’re looking up, everything is fine; the second you look down, though – woohoo baby! everything spins around …

    I am a big supporter of “when in doubt, throw it out” – no matter how much it cost to make it in the first place or how hungry I am. And you can’t necessarily tell by looking or even tasting, so it’s the calendar method for me (three days or less, it’s fine; three to five days, feed it to the husband because he doesn’t care; more than five days, toss) …

    Too funny about the children’s book!! Not a good choice of textured object …


    • Ha! You made me laugh with “…three to five days, feed it to the husband because he doesn’t care”. In our house it’s the opposite – Hubby is constantly wary, while I’ll still eat just about anything (except seafood) at the 3 – 5 day mark. After five days, though, it’s garbage time!


  10. Some things are better after they’ve aged a bit, but mostly not. I don’t care for olives, but when the green ones turn black is that bad?
    I usually try to smell first and then taste to see if it’s still edible, because I really hate wasting food. On the other hand I would never climb a 700 foot tower just to get rid of it even in a “hold my beer and watch this” moment.


    • There’s not enough beer in the world to make me think climbing that crane would be a good idea. And even if I was inebriated enough to start the climb, I’d be stone cold sober by the time I got about 30 feet up.

      I hate wasting food, too, and it’s pretty rare for anything to get that far along in our fridge. Usually everything is snapped up in a day or two. And I don’t think I’m qualified to comment on olives – any item that has to be soaked in lye before it’s edible probably falls outside normal parameters for spoilage. (I’ve never tried lutefisk, either, but maybe you can comment on that…?)


  11. After going to university and getting married, I would always go visit my parents and clean out their fridge of leftovers. Easier to do theirs than my own! There were definitely some science projects there, and fuzzy cheese was a subject for debate–if you can eat “Blue” cheese, why not green or brown? Thanks for bringing back those memories!


    • I’m glad you got a trip down Memory Lane and a smile! The “fuzzy cheese” debate is one that occurs regularly in our house. I love Brie and Blue and Gorgonzola and all those yummies, while Hubby wouldn’t touch them with a hazmat suit and a ten-foot pole. He’s always bugging me about why I won’t eat mouldy cheddar, too; and to be honest I don’t have a good answer. According to Schrödinger’s Law Of Leftovers I should try it, but I’m not sure whether I have sufficient strength of conviction. Off to Google “is it safe to eat mouldy cheese” now… 😉


  12. If you have any leftovers you’re not sure about, just put them in your mom’s fridge. As I recall, she’s had some interesting finds in there for months on end. 😉

    As for a children’s book about DT? That would be scarier than “It” and that book is meant for adults! Shudder.


  13. I’m always a bit iffy about leftovers, when I still lived at my parents about a gazillion years ago it never bothered me, but since I have lived on my own no. I don’t really do leftovers or have them. I might have something a couple of hours later but that’s just digestion not leftovers.


    • That’s awesome: “…that’s just digestion, not leftovers”! Remind me to use that line on the next leftover-averse person I meet.

      We actually love leftovers – it’s so convenient to be able to grab something from the fridge and chow down instead of spending all that time preparing a fresh new meal. But you’re right; wondering whether it’s still edible later is definitely a downside. 😉


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