My husband is not fond of leftovers and neither do I. There are times when I would eat leftovers but only because I feel bad about wasting food. I hate to see them just go down to the trash. Composting leftover food is good but it is still a waste of money.
To avoid these kind of wastes, I have to plan to cook or buy food that we both like.
Well, in a household that came from different cultures and background, it is not so easy. I am an Asian. It means, my diet usually composed of rice, fish, cooked vegetables. My husband, who is an Italian/German/American, does not like these type of food. He would tolerate it sometimes, but only because “he loves me”. He prefers bread, pasta, sandwich, salad, pizza, hamburger, everything that I consider not real food.
On top of that, we welcomed Bob into our home. He is a high school student from China. You would think it would be easy for me because he is Asian, too. We may be both from Asia but our food, as I discovered recently, are not really the same. In fact, I am finding out that Filipino food compared to authentic Chinese food is very bland. Theirs have so much flavor and aroma. And yes, it is also different from the food they serve in Chinese fast food here in the United States. Buying those for Bob is not an option.
So, how do we eat together without cooking three different meal and without costing me so much money? It took a couple of months before I started to learn to cater to my household’s meal preference. Here is what I learned.
- Learn from “hit and miss”. I learned to observe what kind of food that we all like. Every time we sit down and eat together, I make a list of food that everyone seems to enjoy. I learned that we all like potato, egg, beef, chicken. From these basic ingredients, I just need to be creative so I do not feed my household with same meal everyday. Thanks to worldwide web, there are tons of recipes that I could use with one click. I learned to cook several meals that my family enjoyed.
- Designate an evening meal that focuses on one of the household member’s most favorite food and just eat it. It is not going to hurt anyone to compromise.
- Learn the exact amount of food to cook so there will be no leftovers. I also found out that Bob, like us, does not like leftovers either. It is really important that in every meal, everyone will be satisfied and full but no leftovers. It took me a few weeks before I mastered everything but it works. I pretty much eliminated food waste.