Sunday, November 29, 2009

Waste Not, Want Not

One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is the left-overs. In fact, my meal preparations are with that very thing in mind. I grew up in a family of left-overs, not just food, either. We had 'left-over' or hand-me-down clothes, shoes, used furniture (before that was fashionable), and so on. I was one of five children, so there weren't often left-overs from meals, but when there were, they were worth fighting about. I loved meatloaf as a cold sandwich better than when it was first cooked, probably because the grease had all disappeared back into it. One of my sisters would fight over the last tablespoons of cold baked beans for a sandwich; a cup of cold rutabaga with a dollop of mayonnaise was my idea of heaven. The only thing about left-overs I hated as a kid was Red Flannel Hash. Desperate to put enough supper on the table for all of us, my mother would round up every container of this and that from the dark recesses of the refrigerator, some of it inedible. She fried it, then threw in a can of beets to disguise the whole mess in a surreal, ruby colored heap. I wasn't a picky eater, but I dreaded seeing that on the stove. I shoved it around on my plate and dawdled while it got colder and more horrible by the minute. We were made to finish everything served to us, so I often sat for eternity until I choked it all down. Hell and the hash froze over at about the same pace. A couple of years ago, I went with new, Californian acquaintances to a gourmet restaurant where Red Flannel Hash was on the menu. They were enthralled with the name and asked the waiter what was in it. Implying that it was a unique creation by the chef, he listed the ingredients. Sure enough, it was the Red Flannel Hash of my youth with a big price tag, no more than garbage dressed up in beets, a culinary pig in a pinafore. My dinner partners ordered it, savored every morsel and exclaimed over its delightful "New Englandness."
Our Thanksgiving turkey will go a long way toward meals - croquettes, tetrazzini and soups, but I've got my limits. I'll have to be desperate beyond my current imagination to ever eat Red Flannel Hash again. At some point, I'll throw what remains out, though I abhor wasting food. I cooked trout a while back. I didn't like it, so my cooking creativity wouldn't kick in with an idea for what to do with it. The left-overs languished in the refrigerator. My guilt about throwing out good food was eventually overcome by the smell. A whole trout is not easy to dispose of, so I decided to toss it from our pier onto the rocks for the gulls. I don't randomly throw garbage into the ocean, but I thought the trout might as well feed something if not us and it was, after all, fish. I had hardly turned back toward the house when this eagle appeared, eager for the kitchen carrion. Do you suppose it would have responded so quickly to Red Flannel Hash?

                                                      


  "I'm in the mood for hash."




10 comments:

  1. Toooo funny !!!!!!! I had to read your caption twice !! I was thinking the other kind of hash and really couldnt figure where that caption came from but then I figured it out.

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  2. Ha, ya never know - I might have fought off that eagle for the red flannel hash, for I... love(d)... red flannel hash of yesteryear - can honestly say I never had it made with trout though............

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  3. Love the hash with a poached egg on top. Yummee.

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  4. Don't know how you get these birds to pose for you; beautiful!

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  5. Your soaring eagle is majestic! Your narrative reminded me of the pea soup I was made to eat in my youth that tasted horrid...it had been leftovers much too long and was way past its expiration date! As you said, we had to eat everything before we were allowed to leave the table. My mother was horrified when she realized it had gone bad and I had already forced myself to consume it. It took until adulthood before I could ever eat pea soup again, which now happens to be one of my favorites. By the way, don't you think we should get rid of the turkey feathers above and get some turtle doves, swans or a partridge?
    Work on it!
    HG

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  6. The eagle in flight images are very, very nice. And the red flannel hash story really brought a smile to my face. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. I'm glad everyone enjoyed the Red Flannel Hash- certainly a better story than an entre! I'm glad it made some of you smile where it had made me wretch! Poached eggs on it makes me shudder all the more....uuuuuhgh! Because you asked so enthusiastically HG, I'll change the banner to some nice bird thing besides a turkey's butt. After all, it's past Thanksgiving. Oh! How about a big ham butt for Christmas!

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  8. That in-flight shot of the Bald Eagle is incredible. You take some awesome photos.

    mike

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  9. The blog was outstanding..... the eagle picutres... wowo you are something else....

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  10. I have to say that was a great story, reminded me of creamed spinich Gram used to make me eat!! YUK!!!!! But, anyway the pictures are beautiful!!! They always are!!! Thankyou!!!

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