While I’m kind of tired of reading about the psychology of leftovers (I understand that we’re in a recession, but Food Section editors really need to come up with some new article ideas), I thought the newest leftover piece from The New York Times actually managed to ask a question I hadn’t thought of before: would I serve leftovers to guests?
Among other things, the piece talks about a couple that tried to pass off failed chocolate zucchini bread on party guests, even though the cake was ” turgid” and “oozing” and clearly destined for the trash bin. The baking perfectionist in me would never sink that low – just this weekend I threw away an entire batch of red velvet cupcakes I had intended to bring to a Fourth of July party because they were slightly burned on the bottom.
Okay, so I definitely won’t pass off my failed baking experiments on my guests, but I think I’d happily serve leftover (successful) baked goods. For instance I have some almond cupcakes sitting in my freezer that I’d serve to guests, and I’ve been known to keep a pound cake in my freezer just in case I need a quick dessert (thaw it, toast it, and serve it with berries and whipped cream).
But I don’t think my willingness to serve leftovers would go past baked goods. Many cakes and cookies are perfectly fine served out of the freezer (well, if thawed), but when I’m having people over for dinner I really like the experience of creating a new meal for the occasion. It’s stressful, but part of the reason I have dinner parties is to cook a big meal, try a new recipe, or make something decadent I’d never eat myself. Or maybe I’m just an exhibitionist in the kitchen.
What about you? Would you serve leftovers to guests? Would you serve some leftovers items (like leftover dip), but not others (left over roast chicken)?