It’s the week before Thanksgiving and two days ago I was doing what I do every week before Thanksgiving — cleaning out all the forgotten crap in my fridge, so I can fill it with new crap that I’ll forget about in another 1.5 weeks.
I came across this beauty of a…well, I’m not sure exactly what it is. I’m thinking maybe a desiccated apricot…but I’m not sure. So, if you have any ideas, please respond. I think I will soak it, so I can get a better idea of what it was. I tried biting off a tiny piece so I could figure it out, but it’s hard as rock. I got a little tang, so it could be fruit, but I’m not sure. I will pay five bucks to whoever can correctly identify it and save me from possible food poisoning.
Clearly, we are a nation of people who have too much, that we can forget about food. I do my best to eat all the leftovers that my daughter, her highness, will not touch. With the exception of steak and pulled pork, she usually turns up her nose at leftovers. I understand. It takes a mindset of tenacity and discipline to eat food that’s been in the fridge for a week, (and yes, sometimes longer) but I do it because I was raised by parents who didn’t waste food – ever.
My dad grew up in Italy. He was born in 1915 and was very poor. Dad said when he was about 9 years old, his parents made him take the sheep to graze in the morning, then he had to herd them back in the afternoon. They sent him with a piece of bread and a piece of cheese. That was it, all day.
I think I already told you the story about the time he bludgeoned a chicken to death so they could eat some sort of meat. He feigned ignorance when his mom asked him what happened to the bird, but I think she probably knew. She was probably secretly happy he did it.
Tonight I honored my father’s impoverished past by making bread pudding from the leftover hamburger buns I found in the freezer and made chicken soup from a leftover chicken carcass. I also cooked a hamburger that had been in the freezer for three months – it wasn’t bad. And I may make glazed carrots to take to lunch this week made from the carrots that are starting to root in the fridge. (Don’t worry, I only feed my guests fresh food. I save the life threatening stuff for myself.)
I do it because my parents would haunt me if I didn’t. I still remember my dad opening up a container of something that had gone bad in the refrigerator and saying, “Oh just scrape off the mold, it’s still good. You don’t waste good food.” It’s a miracle he lived to 97.
So, this week, when you’re out shopping, cooking, cleaning and sitting down with your family to a wonderful dinner, take a moment to be thankful for the abundance we enjoy. Let’s hope it stays this way for a long, long time. Happy Thanksgiving!
I will give a complete report on the winner of the AnnualCutthroat Tunno Pumpkin Pie Competition in my next blog. May the best baker win!