I have this habit of carrying over one ingredient or element from a meal into the next meal, then that dish gets reconstituted into something the following day, until I’m forced to go grocery shopping or fatigue of what’s in front of me. When I reflect upon what I eat, I almost always notice how a week’s worth of meals hang together on the same chain, sequential eating, carry-over food.

For example! We made an intensely good pasta bolognese earlier in the week. It simmered on the stovetop for hours, and I marveled at the rich, meaty smells that wafted through the house. The ingredient list went something like this: onions, carrots, ground veal, diced bacon, goose liver, diced heart, ground beef, mortadella, ground pork. The first night, we ate it over fresh tagliatelle…

…And the next day I stuffed some of its leftovers into oversized conchiglie and topped them with fresh mozzarella, served with roasted radicchio, pomegranate, and lemon zest salad…

…which I later piled into a sandwich with roasted red peppers, bacon, mustard, and smoked turkey…

…But even after several sandwiches, my kitchen was still seemingly overflowing with radicchio…

…so I served up several platefuls of French green puy lentils (simmered in stock, dried bay, shallots, peppercorns and cumin) and roasted potatoes (just with a bit of olive oil and rosemary), and put those roasted radicchio halves back into the mix…

…But I made too many lentils and too many potatoes, so I had them both, again, the next day. I stirred fried bacon, sriracha, lime juice and cilantro into the lentils, and that gave them a second life.

I like seeing how meals relate to one another, how they create a conversation that we can control (and sometimes can’t), how our meals create a story about our lives, a narrative of our habits and passions, how we use and reuse certain things to keep our palate fresh and to keep our minds interested. Often I make way too much food and instead of learning how to make one cup of rice instead of four, I’ve just learned how to be more creative with the leftovers. I think I prefer it that way.


One response to “STRING IT ALONG

  1. this seems like a great way of cooking! kind of like designing/making craft or something- you have a bit of this wool left over so you’re going to make this, then you knit too much so you have to make something else with that…

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