30 Days of Thanks, day 26- Family Traditions
During the month of November I am writing about the first thing that I am consciously thankful for each day as a way to be more intentionally grateful. Check out the first one for more information on why I am doing this.
I hate leftovers. There, I said it. I know that some kid in Africa would love to have my thrice-reheated green bean and salami casserole and I would love for him to have it. I am also aware that it makes me sound like a spoiled six-year old when I say it, but that’s just the way I feel. I hate leftovers.
“Jeff, you can’t even tell the difference. In fact, it tastes even better the second time around.”
Really? That’s what you’re going with? You’re going to imply that spending three days at 40 degrees Fahrenheit makes your casserole taste better? In that case, I’m glad I skipped it the first time. Is it reformed now? Were the half-empty bottle of vinaigrette and that little box of baking soda a good influence? Is your food rehabilitated? Is it able to contribute positively to society after its time in the cooler? No thanks. I prefer food that’s not out on parole.
I used to say something similar to the previous paragraph at some point during the Thanksgiving break until I discovered that I don’t hate all leftovers. I now have a general rule of what I will eat and I would like mothers everywhere to consider this guideline as a gesture of good will to your child who was cursed with the ability to tell the difference in a fresh meal and one from last Wednesday: Leftovers are only good if they can be made into a sandwich.
Take the leftover stuffing and form it into a patty like you would hamburger meat then fry it in a buttered pan. You can use these fried patties, which have the consistency of a crab cake, as the bread of any kind of leftover sandwich. Usually I just top mine with turkey and pour gravy over it for an open-faced sandwich. This year my dad suggested some shredded pepper jack cheese and since I’ve never turned down cheese…
The funny part is that this has become something that my dad and I look forward to every year and it always happens the same way–he puts as much food into his patty as is possible (potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce), we complement each other on how great an idea this was, we set off the smoke detector and my mom pretends to be mad, we try to get other family members to partake and they look at us like we’re asking them to try an arsenic pancake.
Isn’t that what holidays with family are all about? Doing crazy things and keeping them just because you enjoy being with your family is my definition of tradition. Yesterday morning the first thing he said to me was “you want to fry some stuffing for lunch?” and I know I’ll hear him say that every Thanksgiving we’re together so…
Today, November 26, I am thankful for holiday traditions and being able to share them with the ones I love.