Leftovers don’t have to suck

I’m usually the eater of last resort when it comes to the leftovers in this house.  I get them when everyone else is sick of them or there isn’t quite enough left for a meal anymore.  If I don’t eat them they’re going in the garbage.


Mashed potatoes have always been the bane of my leftover experience.  I don’t like them in their original form once they’re not fresh but I hate to waste all that heavy cream and butter.  They were getting to the end of their life expectancy in the stasis of the fridge.  Need lunch, so what to do?

Potato pancakes, of a sort.  Works for me.

Palate cleanser of a crisp juicy apple is the perfect accompaniment.

As a family we’re trying to waste less.  There’s no point in throwing money in the compost or the trash

We’re on .07 of an acre but we grow what we can, frequent the pick-your-own farms and can and freeze as much as possible.

I’m working my way up to a flock of chickens.

But first we’ve got to figure out how to use what we’ve got.  There’s no sense in doing all this food production/preserving if we just chuck a good amount of it.

Potato pancakes are warm, creamy and full of flavor.  A comfort food that won’t sit there for a week or two.

And it uses up the leftovers.

They’re actually quite yummy.

Potato pancakes, of a sort:

Take your cold, gooey mashed potatoes and put what you want into a bowl.  Mix in an egg or two till they’re a bit wet.  If you want a bit of zip add some grated onion or fresh chives.  Add in enough flour so they’re not too wet and squishy.



Forgot the black pepper.  Fresh ground is always best.  Buy in bulk for the best price.


Heat up a heavy skillet over medium low heat.  Add in a generous dollop of the fat of your choice.  I use bacon grease that I filter and store in a jar in the back of the fridge from whenever we have a bacon bacchanal.  Canola oil would work too I suppose but I like the flavor from the bacon grease.

IMG_4761Make sure you let the pan heat up all the way.  It’ll help keep the pancake from sticking.  Scoop into the pan what you consider to be pancake sized.

IMG_4764Spread the pancake out gently with a spatula or fork to the edges of the pan.  You want it about 1/4-1/2″ thick.  Thicker will take longer to cook so you should use a lower flame.  Thinner can be cooked higher and quicker.

IMG_4770Once the pancake is good and brown around the edges, flip gently with the biggest spatula you have.  Mine always break during flipping.  Just squish it back together.  No one is judging appearance here.

Cook till browned on the other side and there you have it, lunch, breakfast, dinner, finished up leftovers.

Personally I like my potato pancakes with a bit of sour cream but applesauce is also a common accompaniment.

Whatever works for you and what’s in the fridge.

Leftovers don’t have to suck.


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