Nothing Is Wasted (Vegetable Version)

Here we are, at the end of August, and another summer has gone screaming by. The wind blew tonight, and thunder shook the house as the calendar turns us back to school and schedules and cooler weather and the approach of a darker, slower time.

Maybe.

My schedule stayed relatively clear this weekend (for me, the weekend comes to an end in these next few moments, as Saturday becomes Sunday and the most important day of the week amps up for me). Yesterday, I managed to get all of the laundry done, which is no small feat. I cooked and cleaned and enjoyed the open, empty and quiet space of our home. That is sabbath for me, the refuge and the slow movements from one room to another.

No running, no rushing, no deadlines. There is rest for me in that kind of openness.

The vegetables I roasted yesterday, the bounty of peppers and tomatoes scattered on the stainless steel table at the church with a, “Come and get ’em!” invitation; the eggplant, which rode up I-95 with my parents on an adventure out of my Aunt Barbara’s garden into my kitchen; the local squash… All combined and cooked to be absolutely delicious the first time out of the over, around midday yesterday. However, upon reheating and serving four hours later, what was firm was less so, and what was delicious became something less palatable.

Mushy. Not worth eating. Past it’s prime.

But nothing is wasted, you know; I have learned that in life and I am beginning to understand it better in the kitchen. So tonight, what went from perfect and fresh to mushy and tired was granted new life. Soggy veggies became a puree, a base for soup laced with fresh spinach and cilantro, a kick of chili powder and a pinch of curry.

All things new, y’all. Works all over the place.

Never forget the power of a second chance and a bit of creative energy.

I sent the above photo to my eldest daughter, the creative master of the kitchen, encouraging her to BE PROUD OF YOUR MOTHER. It’s pretty amazing, to be at this juncture in life where I am inspired by my offspring. It happens all the time.

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