I do confess that I enjoy the holiday seasons just like everybody else. One of the main ingredients I enjoy more than anything else is the holiday cuisine. At our house, I must duly confess, it is the best.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is the cooking queen when it comes to all of this holiday food. She does a wonderful job and my job is simply to consume as much of it as I possibly can. We both manage our jobs quite professionally!
As long as no dish has anything like broccoli in it, I will eat it and enjoy it. Broccoli has a way of confusing my taste buds. I’ll not go into any further detail.
It amazes me how my wife can go to the grocery store, buy bags of groceries and turn all of that into the most scrumptious dinner this side of heaven.
As much as I love the holiday cuisine, I must concede there is something I love more than that. I must be careful how I say this because I do not want to compromise in any way my attendance at the next holiday banquet in our residence. I have learned through the years as a husband to be careful what I say and what I do not say and I must say that I am still on the learning track here.
What is better than a holiday banquet?
Right here is where I need to walk very carefully. For years, I have kept this little thought to myself. However, I must come out and confess this. No longer can I keep it a secret because it is a very important aspect of my holiday celebration.
As good as the holiday banquet is in our house there is something much better. I am referring, of course, to leftovers.
My wife cooks so much that there is always an abundance of leftovers. If you know anything about my wife, you know she does not throw anything away. We recycle as much as possible, which also includes food. To throw food away in our house is a criminal offence. You do not want to know the penalty!
Through the years the leftovers have become better and better. I know that the quality of any leftover has to do with the initial cooking. I must say I enjoy that first level of cooking for Thanksgiving and Christmas and every other holiday. I have come to discover, however, that the leftovers are just as good if not better than the originals.
I never thought too much about this until recently. The refrigerator was packed with food left over from our Christmas and New Year’s Day dinners. The table was set most spectacularly and I, and a few family members, set down to stuff ourselves with these holiday vittles. Oh, how delicious every bite was.
I must say I had come to the point, as everybody else around the table did, that I was stuffed and I could not entertain another bite.
At this point, the dessert came to the table. Oh boy, looking at that dessert and smelling the marvelous aroma I rediscovered my appetite. When the call came out, “Anybody want dessert?” I was the first to respond in the positive. I believe in positive thinking, especially at dessert time.
It was the next day when the reality of all of this set in. As my wife is thinking about dinner, she asked me a simple question, “How about having leftovers tonight for dinner?”
At the time I did not think too much of it and grunted a positive response and went back to reading my book.
In a few moments, I began to smell something wonderfully delicious. The smell was coming from the kitchen and then I heard a wonderful invitation, “Supper’s ready. Let’s eat.”
As I situated myself at the table, I began to look around at what was called “leftovers” and was delighted by what I saw.
We always have prayer before we eat and I must confess I had a very abbreviated prayer because I wanted to get into those leftovers.
Every bite seemed more delicious than the previous bite. How my wife can take leftovers and mix it all up into a marvelously delicious supper I will never know. I do not need to know. All I need to do is enjoy the delicacy of her cuisine art.
For the next week, we enjoyed leftovers every suppertime. The last night the table was not quite as full as before and my wife informed me that this was the last of the leftovers.
Of course, my heart sank within me realizing that the delicious aspect of the holiday banqueting was about to come to a close. I never realized before how much I loved those leftovers. I don’t know if it is because I am getting older, or, if I am just recognizing things I’ve never recognized before.
There is a little bit of magic associated with putting together leftovers and making them more delicious than the original setting.
As I finished the last of the leftovers I thought of something Jesus said after he fed the multitude, “When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost” (John 6:12).
Even in my spiritual life when God blesses me, there are leftovers people around can enjoy. A life so blessed, blesses everybody around.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores.