Last night I was plain tuckered out, and found myself in a moment familiar, where I stood astonished as to all the colors, jars, and mystery saucepans filling up our fridge. In this week’s case, leftover green lentils, a serving of brown rice, ends of a half dozen eggs, tuna salad, bacon, a head of fresh broccoli, the constant bin of cheeses, the constant container of fruit cut up for lunches.

To some that sounds like there’s nothing for dinner. But just think if there was a head of lettuce in there somewhere? You could throw all of those things on top, and call it a meal. No lettuce in our case, and so our plates do as they do on hodgepodge nights, and become strange patchworks of odds and ends. Yes, I am a meal planner, which seems to suggest that every meal we sit down to is carefully orchestrated and picture perfect. But really, hodgepodge is my favorite. It has a bit of the primitive to it.

Plus, it really is the most delicious way to clean out the fridge each week, and to protest food waste.

Okay, but as a meal planner, I encourage you always to make more of things. Lentils, they were delicious with the leftover brown rice and bacon. Tuna melts with steamed broccoli; that was fast. And the ubiquitous egg, what would we do without you? Making more servings of rice and grains, vegetables and sauces, you’ll always be oddly prepared for your own moment of hodgepodge.