Simple Pleasures: The Beauty of Leftovers

Saturday night’s dinner was spectacular, if I don’t say so myself. 

I had roasted a chicken for our Shabbat meal on Friday, so I pared down the leftovers and whipped up a chicken salad with celery, scallion, Dijon mustard and mayo and a dash of turmeric. I had tried on Thursday to make a tahini dressing (any have a good recipe to share???) and ended up with a flavorful thick hummus – so out it came, with crackers to drag through.

There was couscous from one dinner, heated up, and shrimp from the same dinner, served cold. I made a salad from the remaining grilled radicchio and romaine (done fresh Friday night), avocado chunks, crushed cashews and some chopped roasted red pepper.

The table was full of color and variety. The flavors were big. And the best part – everyone ate! The kids all found something they liked, and of course it was packed full of nutrients.

I love making a spontaneous meal out of whatever is left in the refrigerator. Like many, I hate throwing away food – not only is it wasteful, but surely we aren’t practicing such an art of indifferent abundance while so many starve?

I do it every year at my in-laws’ house, the day after Thanksgiving. When my mother-in-law is exhausted from hosting 30-some people, roasting a turkey and countless side dishes, I take over the kitchen and hand her a glass of wine.

It’s fun. It’s creating something from nothing, putting a puzzle together that satisfies and nourishes. I love taking disconnected parts and finding a way to connect them.

Of course, that’s a lesson for business too. Connect the unexpected. Find liaisons and relationships where you wouldn’t have thought possible.

Late last night, my little guy climbed into my bed when I was fast asleep. Somewhere around 3 a.m., Shaya snuggled up against me and said, “Mommy?”

“Yes?” I replied.

“I love you.”

I hugged him close, breathed in the sleep-warm scent of his golden hair. “I love you too, Shaya.” And we both drifted back to sleep.

It’s the little things in life, the individual remarkable moments, that make life worthwhile, isn’t it? Leftovers and late-night love – who could ask for more.

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