“What should I make for lunch?” Bayda asks me by way of greeting me each morning. And each morning my response is to go to the refrigerator and take out all the leftovers of yesterday, and the day before and the day before and the day before.
Then I decide on whether I should be make add-ons or a completely new meal.
Gosh! Looking at all those little bits of this and little bits of that drive me crazy at times. What do I do with all these remains of the meals?
On the 7th Day Mum said “Let them eat leftovers
As Freud said, blame it all on your parents. Growing up with the adage “Waste Not, Want Not”, we never threw out food especially when it was good. At least one day in the week, we followed a tradition (which I assume is followed in all homes under one name or the other) that was grandly referred to as “Shilli Saptami” which is loosely translated as Stale Food on the Seventh Day from the Marathi. Indeed on the seventh day, Mum said “let them eat leftovers!” And out would come the little catoris from the insides of the fridge to reveal little bits of different foods cooked over the last several meals.
I too follow this tradition of using up leftovers but in keeping with modern times my food is re-cycled or up-cycled. With just a little left over to be shared among many mouths, it makes sense to serve it up as something different.
A little bit of this and a little bit of that
If possible, the different foods are pulverised and bound into cutlets with breadcrumbs ( themselves home made with leftover sun dried bread crusts) and fried. Anything that is fried according to me tastes fantastic and with a dab of tomato ketchup, is quickly gobbled up.
Rice is up-cycled as Fried Rice or Lemon Saffron Rice or curd rice.
Chicken is served up as kebabs or cutlets as is left over mutton, or fish. If the gravy is good enough then chicken and mutton is served up as egg rolls or modified Frankie. Sometimes the meat is shredded to make a sandwich paste which is then served as a tea time snack.
Little pots of daal are mixed up to make one huge mixed daal which with burnt garlic, a sizzling hot red chilli and some chopped coriander tastes more amazing than the individual daals ever did.
And so it is that on the Seventh Day, all the little pots are emptied out and we can begin replenishing them yet again.
Surprisingly, the whole household actually enjoys this little game. The family loves guessing what the ingredients are while I enjoy showcasing my culinary acumen and ingenuity. With varying quantities of varying ingredients, I actually feel like an alchemist, working up magic in my kitchen to produce food that’s never been produced before and will most likely, never be produced again.
So when the family asks me to make the chicken like I did that day – I simply can’t remember which day they are referring to and which chicken because every day is a new day!
Do you also re-cycle food in your home? What is your favourite upcycled food? Do share in the comments below.
Shilpa and Bellybytes invite you to join in on #FlavoursomeTuesdays on the First Tuesday of every month with your Stories of Yum and Not so Yum with posts on your blog.
Come on give it a try.