I have a neighbor who refuses to eat leftovers. I have no idea why a grown man would take this stance, but it probably goes back to his childhood experiences. In my family there were rarely leftovers. My mother never quite got the knack of cooking enough for us and we ate up all that was offered. But there were times of big dinners, such as Thanksgiving, that we had leftovers. Those were put into the refrigerator in the kind of glass containers pictured above. Some of ours were bigger and some that size.To reheat the leftovers, you would put them in a saucepan or frying pan and gently warm them up.
I have over corrected for my mother’s approach, and I constantly cook more than we can eat. I no longer have these little glass containers, so my food goes into bowls and is covered with—you guessed it—plastic wrap. Then when one of us wants to have some, we put it on a plate and reheat it in the microwave. There is even a setting on the device called “dinner plate.”
That short comparison highlights how much things have changed in just 50 years or so. My mother was not trying to be eco-friendly by using those containers. They were the standard solution for storing extra food. We didn’t have the option of immediately reheating food, and so we never thought anything about waiting while it warmed. Now I would have to be intentional to search out these containers(the photo items were at a “vintage” site.) Then I would have to “wait” while the food heated on the burner.
Clearly the planet was better off without the choice of plastic. At this point it would take widespread reform so that I reached, without having to think about it, for a glass storage dish for leftovers. As for microwaves, I still have no idea if they are safe or not. But they sure are convenient!