It was one of those evenings I didn’t feel like cooking. So I stopped at ‘China Bistro’ and got some curry chicken, fried rice, crab rangoons, beef with broccoli, and some chicken fried rice on the side; just enough for the family (or so I thought).
We all had our fill; even the kids got second portions. At the end of the day, we had some leftover chicken fried rice, and some crab rangoons. I figured the left-over crab rangoons would make a good snack for me in-between meals the following day, so I put them in a zip lock and made a mental note to get them in the morning. I wasn’t so particular about the fried rice, but I wasn’t going to throw it away either.
“Motherhood is telling people that the only reason why you gain weight is because you eat everyone’s leftover to avoid waste”
#onYourOwn #leftoverfoodplatter #nowastes
So I threw the leftover chicken fried rice box in the refrigerator. I was sure it would be gone by the time I got back from work, or at the most, within 48 hours.
Of course I didn’t forget my crab rangoons the next day. I took them to work, and snacked on them till they were all gone.
Life of the Chicken Fried Rice … Day 1
I got home later that evening, and the left over chicken fried rice was still there sitting in the refrigerator, as intact as I had left it the night before. Everybody wanted something different for dinner; pancakes, eba, pounded yam, noodles, … except the leftover. Somehow, we all agreed on dinner; the leftover chicken fried rice was not in the picture.
The morning, and then the evening, and that was day one.
Day 2 …
I was too tired to cook, but I wasn’t ready to take the easy route by ordering fast food (or having everyone eat out). It was almost 7pm when I got home. Everyone was hungry and tired. My daughter ranted about how she hasn’t been able to focus on completing her school work because she’s hungry. My husband also looked like all the food in the world had disappeared.
I got the impression that there was absolutely nothing ‘ready’ to eat. I was going to start feeling sorry for them, but I opened the fridge; and there it was – the left over fried rice – still sitting there … in the midst of two hungry people. OMG!!
The morning, and then the evening, and that was day two.
Day 3 …
When I got home from work (tired). I opened the fridge, and little Ms. leftover Chicken fried rice eyed me from its little corner, looking sulky, lonely, and pitiful. “I don’t have time for you today”, I said to myself as I eyed it back from the corner of my eye. I decided to move on with making something fresh for dinner.
The morning, and then the evening, and that was day three.
Day 4 …
I wasn’t going to let this happen. I couldn’t afford to watch Ms. leftover get dumped in the trash. Although I didn’t want ‘her’ myself, I had to sacrifice my diet resolutions, and eat the sad and miserable-looking rice. If I didn’t, I figured it might turn to an ugly disgusting sight within the next 48 hours.
Nobody wanted it. I didn’t want it either. Everyone in my family knows how much I do not like throwing food away. In fact, sometimes, I can hardly get myself to do it.
I brought the rice out of the fridge. I was about to violate my diet schedule in order to save this rice from the trash, and add on some six hundred and fifty unplanned-for calories to my body.
This rice just didn’t appeal to me. But I couldn’t throw it away. As caught in-between as I was on making a decision, it didn’t take too long to conclude. “I will eat this thing”, I thought out loud.
I already had dinner planned and ready, but I decided to eat this left over, even though it didn’t appeal to me, to avoid throwing it away.
The Transformation …
I got my frying pan and stir fried some mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, sweet corn, etc), tossed the left over rice in the pan and stir fried some more, and then to spice it up, I added some crushed pepper.
I emptied the contents in my plate, and got some orange juice to go with it.
I sat down to eat.
All of a sudden, everybody wanted a spoon of the transformed left over. All three kids sat around me, holding out their own spoon. Ten minutes later, everything was gone.
The left-over food the family rejected has now become the Chief course-meal
(CibM Meme Chapter 101, verse 1)
My thoughts? …
So many times in our lives, we see people (or things) that are leftovers, or look like leftovers – abandoned, sad, ugly, pitiful, and lonely. And really, maybe they are. But when we invest our time and the (little) resources we have in these leftovers, the end-result becomes appealing and attractive. All of a sudden, everyone then wants to be associated with the transformed person (or thing).
As I reflect on this episode, my heart fills with gratitude and joy. I was once a left-over that has been transformed (by God). His transforming-expertise is out of this world.
Whenever you feel rejected, lonely, ugly, or miserable because you are being treated like leftover, be resolved to let the greater power of God spice you up and make you something new.
The greater lesson though is that in this new year, be resolved to transform someone or something that others have labeled as ‘leftover’. Be resolved to be the change and not wait to hold out your spoon after the work has been done.
To those that hold the same belief as I do, remember that we were once leftovers that God transformed. Let that spur you to ‘pay-forward’ because at the end of the day, “The left-over food the family rejected will become the chief course-meal”, and everyone including you can enjoy!
Have a happy new transformation-project-filled year!