Let’s Talk About Leftovers

NOTE: Feel free to skip on down to the italics if you just want to see pictures of chicken pot pie. All I can say about the paragraphs between here and there is, I’ve just done the equivalent of four weeks of grad school in two weeks (I actually had a dream about MARC and XML code a few nights ago, FUN!), and in general all is not quiet on the western (or eastern) front, so just bear with me. Or skip to the pictures. Also, Let’s Talk About Leftovers is the name of a Lagwagon album, so that’s where that came from.

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I didn’t like leftovers much when I was younger (though I mostly ate macaroni and cheese, which isn’t all that different the next day), but I love them now. Some foods, like lasagna – which I also wouldn’t eat when I was little because it had a) red sauce b) leafy green vegetables, and usually c) hidden tofu disguised as cheese – actually improve with time, and are better the next day or the day after than they are straight out of the oven. Something about the flavors melding, I suppose, though if you let them meld until green fuzz appears, the meld has become mold and you should throw whatever it is (was) out, and scrub out whatever container it was in real well.

Also, if you DO want to hide tofu in lasagna, use equal parts tofu and ricotta, and mix them together well in a bowl separately before layering them in. I’m stopping here because I know what happened to Jessica Seinfeld, but anyway, camouflage!

This is going to be one of those posts with a lot of tangents and asides, I can already tell. One day the parenthetical police are going to come after me, or at least impose a tax.

Anyway, the point of all this (yes! there is one!) is that leftovers are especially great if you want to bring lunch to work or school, but do not want to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every single day. Because when you do eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day, it can have adverse consequences, like making you never want to see or smell or taste one again, and that is sad, because every now and then a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a wonderful thing. (“A road diverged…”: Oh no, two tangents have occurred to me simultaneously! First: apparently there are a lot of schools where kids are no longer allowed to bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at all, because, as the name suggests, they contain peanut butter, and OTHER kids at the school are deathly allergic to peanuts, and I imagine this puts the parents of picky children in a real bind, because chances are the picky kid for damn sure is not going to eat tuna, and WHAT THEN? Second: ever since I watched that stupid episode of Glee where they sang “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” every time I say or hear or see or think the phrase “every now and then,” I get that song stuck in my head (“Every now and then I fall apart…”) WILL THIS EVER END? It’s like “My Heart Will Go On” but WAY WORSE, because how often does the phrase “my heart will go on” come up in conversation, unless you are a seventh grade girl in 1997? Or unless you’re unfortunate enough to be listening to hold music on a customer service call. Thanks a lot, Celine.)

Okay, what was I…Right! Alternative lunches. Alternative lunches that are not nine-dollar midtown sandwiches, thankyouverymuch. Glad I do not work in midtown any more. So! I believe the question was – not that this question was explicitly stated above, but rather, the point I am trying, despite my divergent, Robert Frost brain (“Frost brain” – cousin to “brain freeze? Discuss) to make – “What can I make that will be a tasty dinner tonight, and ALSO a tasty lunch the next day, or perhaps for the next two or three days?”

“What can I make that will be a tasty dinner tonight, and ALSO a tasty lunch the next day, or perhaps for the next two or three days?” (For those wisely who skipped the thoroughly nonsensical and incoherent paragraphs above.)

You can make chicken pot pie.

Or veggie pot pie, if that’s your thing.

I made this last weekend, and it carried me nicely through the week. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a little labor-intensive and time consuming, but then you don’t have to cook much else for the next several days, and it’s pretty filling. I used the New Best Recipe recipe, for the crust as well as the filling, though I added a bunch of extra vegetables: not just peas and carrots, but also corn, broccoli, and potatoes. (Thank you to the sous-chef, who I think was delighted that the crust, originally intended for quiche until I discovered I did not have anything like the appropriate amount of cheese on hand, came to be used for this purpose instead.)

Deep breath.

What I’m reading: Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling (audiobook)
What I’m listening to: Undertone, The Undertone; Songs Without Words, Mendelssohn; The Replacements; “Books About UFOs,” Husker Du

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