Opinions on leftovers seem to fall into two categories: Lov’em or leav’em. Staring at the plastic containers and jars hidden in the deep caverns of my refrigerator, I decided it wasn’t too late to create something new from something mold (I mean old). In the kitchen, soup stirs my culinary capacity to create. Most would agree that the freshest ingredients are essential to achieve goodness but in a pinch leftovers will do. It is decided, soup for supper!
I assemble the lost containers on the countertop to take stock of what I’ve got: a half a cup of taco meat, an almost full can of tomato sauce with lime juice, a half -pound of Italian sausage, handful of roasted yellow and red peppers and a quarter jar of spaghetti sauce. Looking over the jumble of containers, soup morphs into chili. As it is with most things in life, I’m going to work with what I’ve got.
From the smell wafting over the simmering cast iron pot, I can taste spicy success. There will be toppings of oyster crackers and cheese to entice the picky eater in our family, my daughter Sophie.
“Mom, this is good. Really good”, proclaims my son, as he heads back to the kitchen for a second helping. Shhh, over the years I have learned that the secret to repurposing leftovers is to keep it a secret from my family. There is a pinch of truth to the saying, “What they don’t know, won’t hurt them.”
As a ladle of goodness empties into my bowl, I think to myself, it’s a shame that “this” good can never be repeated again. And then the burn of that thought heats up like the piece of jalapeño I just spooned into my mouth. I remember to savor the taste of “this” good because “this” good is all I have at the moment … the slow burn of now.