The Joys of Commingling in the Kitchen

CLICK ABOVE TO PLAY MUSIC

Music – “The Leftovers” from Homemade Fun by Keith Munslow. Released: 2009. (PS:  Don’t take this song too seriously!)

In Forensic Anthropology, there is a term “commingling”, which is a mixture of the skeletal remains of more than one individual, and for one reason or another, have been “mixed” together. This can happen in mass burials, such as the genocide we have seen during WWII in Germany, and more recently in Rwanda and Bosnia, just to name a few. It is up to the task of the Forensic Anthropologist to attempt to make order out of chaos, and ultimately, try to assemble the bony remains in order to identify the individual. Forensic Anthropology is definitely not for those who eschew puzzles!

Well, you may be wondering what all this talk of “commingling” has to do with the kitchen. From my love of cooking, I frequently make large batches of “stuff”, which inevitably ends up in my freezer. (No, I am not Hannibal Lecter!) Periodically, I rummage through the freezer, looking for likely batches of “stuff“, which might be good “commingled”. Sometimes they work together, sometimes they don’t (just ask my spouse!).

"I don't know what it is, but Mom said it was leftovers. Whatever!" (Photo Credit: www.pinterest.com)

“I don’t know what it is, but Mom said it was leftovers. Whatever!” (Photo Credit: http://www.pinterest.com)

Well, this may be a whole new interpretation of "eating with the eyes" (Photo Credit: www.missradiance.blogspot.com)

Well, this may be a whole new interpretation of “eating with the eyes” (Photo Credit: http://www.missradiance.blogspot.com)

This might be a classic example of "commingling" (Photo Credit: www.wastedfood.com)

This might be a classic example of “commingling” (Photo Credit: http://www.wastedfood.com)

When I am “commingling” in my kitchen, my spouse will often come in to ask what’s for dinner. I usually end up telling him that we’re having some “soupy, stewy thingy” and leave the rest up to his imagination.

A leftover turkey tamale pie. Good example of commingled cooking (Photo Credit: www.food52.com)

A leftover turkey tamale pie. Good example of commingled cooking (Photo Credit: http://www.food52.com)

The commingling shelf in a refrigerator. (Photo Credit: www.manvsdebt.com)

The commingling shelf in a refrigerator. (Photo Credit: http://www.manvsdebt.com)

Some of the "leftover" cookbooks in my collection.

Some of the “leftover” cookbooks in my collection.

Anything with a good soup base is a good starting point to add some leftover stew, toss in some veggies and a splash of wine and Bob’s your uncle (or in my case, my ex-brother-in-law).

Stop! Don't throw that food out. Don't you know there are children starving in India? (Photo Credit: www.dailmail.co.uk)

Stop! Don’t throw that food out. Don’t you know there are children starving in India? (Photo Credit: http://www.dailmail.co.uk)

If you refuse to eat leftovers, at least recycle them into compost! (Photo Credit: www.nytimes.com)

If you refuse to eat leftovers, at least recycle them into compost! (Photo Credit: http://www.nytimes.com)

No, don't! That looks like the perfect candidate for a commingled meal! (Photo Credit: www.worldwideweirdnews.com)

No, don’t! That looks like the perfect candidate for a commingled meal! (Photo Credit: http://www.worldwideweirdnews.com)

I have commingled leftover chili with beef soup (pretty good), leftover chicken a-la-king with shrimp jambalaya (not so much), and you can’t go wrong commingling soups (usually). On some occasions, the final product looks like a hodge-podge of “whatever”, so I take out the Cuisinart blender and blend up the stuff until it resembled a thick, homogenous pea soup. (So tasty too!, with apologies to Lucy!).

There is so much food thrown away every day, that it is mind-boggling. I’m not talking about rancid, long-in-the-tooth food, but decent food, which for some bizarre reasons, many people refuse to eat. These are the “leftovers”, which our Moms frugally saved and served up again, perhaps morphed into something else, which looked totally different from it’s former life, or perhaps just re-heated what was cooked and leftover from the night before.

"I'll make the big sacrifice and volunteer to eat your leftovers" (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

“I’ll make the big sacrifice and volunteer to eat your leftovers” (Photo Credit: http://www.shutterstock.com)

Enough said. (Photo Credit: www.thecreativerecycler.com)

Enough said. (Photo Credit: http://www.thecreativerecycler.com)

Now, obviously, there is a case to be made for a commingled meal, but not food poisoning! (Photo Credit: www.onlymyhealth.com)

Now, obviously, there is a case to be made for a commingled meal, but not food poisoning! (Photo Credit: http://www.onlymyhealth.com)

I can’t imagine NOT eating leftovers, yet there appear to be a whole lot of people out there, who simply throw away anything that doesn’t get consumed on the first go-round of cooking. It’s tragic, and I think, irresponsible and wasteful, but that’s just my opinion. Perhaps this is a reflection of a throw-away generation, who did not have to live with wars close to home, rationing, or cared about conservation efforts and starving millions.

"Wow. I can't believe those people refuse to eat these fantastic leftovers. Their loss, our gain!" (Photo Credit: www.sunnysidedru.com)

“Wow. I can’t believe those people refuse to eat these fantastic leftovers. Their loss, our gain!” (Photo Credit: http://www.sunnysidedru.com)

Well, there are good "commingled" meals and there are bad ones. You decide. (Photo Credit: www.buzzfeed.com)

Well, there are good “commingled” meals and there are bad ones. You decide. (Photo Credit: http://www.buzzfeed.com)

So, I urge you: when you are tired of cooking and stuff is falling out of your freezer, think “commingling” and be adventurous! You’ll never forget the combinations that do not work! (and your spouse won’t let you forget either!)


My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

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About vintagecookbookery

Cookbook lover and collector with a burgeoning collection of cookbooks. Reading and researching food trends, history of cooking techniques and technological advances in cooking, what we eat and why and cookbooks as reflectors of cultures is a fascination for me. As of November 7th, 2013, I hold the current Guinness World Record title for the largest collection of cookbooks: 2,970 at the official count on July 14th, 2013 (applaud now, thank you very much!) The current (unofficial) number is now 6,037. What next? More shelves!
This entry was posted in Bosnia, Comfort Food, Cookbooks, Cooking, Eating, Food Trends, Uncategorized, Vintage Cookbooks and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Joys of Commingling in the Kitchen

  1. That song is hysterical! For better or worse, my husband never lets me throw out food…

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