We’ve all seen it. It’s a week after the wedding, and your fridge is still piled high with delicious food that’s about to go bad. There’s just too much for you and your new spouse to eat, and you’re tired of eating the same leftovers for every meal. Instead of letting your leftover wedding food go to waste, here are some ideas of what to do with the food.
By Sarah Dinetz
Donate the leftover wedding food
Whether you’re leaving for your honeymoon right after the wedding, or there’s simply no way you can eat all those leftovers before they go bad, donating your leftover food is always an excellent option. This is something you’ll have to organize ahead of time, by either seeing if your caterer already has any contacts for food donations, or by seeking out local shelters ahead of time to find out their policies. In addition to homeless shelters, you might also consider donating the food to a local firehouse or senior center. Be sure to check on the policies both for your caterer and the donation site before making a final decision. You should also choose a point person to take care of the leftovers…the food needs to be delivered in a timely matter so it doesn’t go bad.
Have a brunch, or incorporate leftovers into your already-planned brunch
After celebrating with family and friends, you’ll never want the party to stop. If you have a lot of out-of-town guests, it’s customary to have some sort of breakfast or brunch the day after your wedding. Instead of having a separately catered brunch with your loved ones, simply put out some of the favorite leftovers from your big day. Sure, you might need to run out to the grocery store for a few fill-ins, but it’s still a great way to use up the leftovers while saving some money.
Bring a spread to work
Maybe you couldn’t afford to invite all of your co-workers to your wedding, or maybe your workplace is just the kind of place where people leave food in the break room or lunchroom for others to eat. Either way, bringing in your leftovers—especially appetizers or desserts—is a great way to make your coworkers smile and use up your leftovers. If you don’t want to bring all the leftovers in, put together a tray or two with samplings of a few different foods. If you have tons of leftover desserts, bringing in a tray full of sweets is also a great option. Your coworkers will be appreciative, and it’ll make you feel like your wedding weekend is still in full swing.
Freeze your favorites
This may seem like a no-brainer, but in the post-wedding chaos, the simplicity of throwing some food in the freezer can often be forgotten. Instead of putting all of your leftover wedding food in the fridge and throwing out what hasn’t been eaten after a few days, pick a few favorites and freeze them to eat in a few weeks or months. It’s simple—just wrap the food well and be sure to pick foods that freeze well. You’ll be happy to have a hassle-free, gourmet meal after a long day at work. Plus, it’ll take you right back to your special day.
Make your own creations
You may think all the food from your wedding was out of this world, but that doesn’t make it any less boring to eat the same dishes over and over. Try experimenting with different recipes that use the components of your leftovers as key ingredients. Have a tray full of grilled fish sitting in the fridge? Go for that fish taco recipe you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest. Tired of eating the same prime rib every night? Find a slow cooker stew recipe that catches your attention. This allows you to get creative in the kitchen while using up the leftovers. You can even invite friends and family over for dinner. Freeze your new creations if there’s simply too much to eat.
Any of these options—or any combination of them—will be a great and effective way to use up your leftovers. Have fun, and be sure to plan ahead of time so your special day runs as smoothly as possible.
Photos courtesy of Pinterest