My sister-in-law, Kelly, is a wonderful cook. I never pass up an invitation to dine at their house, even if she offers leftovers. Sunday after church she invited us over to help clean up a surplus of food from a dinner party she’d given the night before.
What better way to get rid of extra food than to invite four or five hungry kinfolk over for lunch? Even though we knocked Blossom the dog out of a few table scraps, we were happy to oblige.
As I watched Kelly get food out of the refrigerator, I couldn’t help thinking of my grandmother. Grandma was Queen of Leftovers. She never threw anything away, and I do mean anything. No matter how small the amount of food—even if it consisted of a couple teaspoons of corn—it went into something plastic with a lid on it and disappeared into the refrigerator.
Grandma lived through the Great Depression and to waste food was a sin. More than once I found something I thought was a small tub of margarine in my refrigerator, but when opened, it revealed something Grandma had saved from one of our meals. Sometimes it was recognizable, other times it wasn’t, due to the fuzzy mold it was nourishing. It just depended on how long it had been hidden in the back of the fridge.
My children don’t understand the concept of leftovers. They aren’t baby boomers, they are fast-food connoisseurs. You get it, eat it, throw the packaging away. Eat the same food at two different meals? “You gotta be kidding,” they whine.
Kelly’s children are the same way. When I told her not to be surprised if the boys didn’t eat much because they weren’t crazy about leftovers, even Aunt Kelly’s, she laughed and said, “I understand. Price didn’t even eat it the first time around. I cooked all day and at mealtime last night as we sat down to eat, he came through carrying a bowl of SpaghettiOs.”
I looked at the plate of standing rib roast she handed me along with a flaky croissant swimming in melted butter, and tried to understand my nephew’s taste buds. I couldn’t.
I guess we have to have a little age on us before we can appreciate the finer things in life.