Monday, April 18, 2005

Common Luxury

I once read, in a rather dated cookbook, the suggestion that it was only proper for the cook to eat leftover roast chicken for her own lunch the next day rather than attempt to stretch it further by making casseroles and so forth – a kind of reward for her hard work and dedication.

Last night, I made a roast chicken. Took one lemon and one lime, cut them into quarters and stuffed the bird with them, sprinkled salt and pepper over the top, and roasted carefully until it was precisely done. Not a centimeter on either side of ‘done’, but right smack on the nose.

At the same time, I boiled up some potatoes, mashed them with butter, milk, a little salt, a little pepper and a generous dash of garlic powder. Add a bag of steamed sweet corn, and you’ve got Americana on the hoof. Even my kids, who have apparently decided that everything that comes out of our kitchen is ‘icky’, ate pretty well.

Ordinarily, I’ll take any leftover meat from roasts and freeze it for end-of-month potpies or casseroles. And there wasn’t a whole lot left. Half a breast, the wings, and the back meat – that was about it. It was easy to take the little scraps from the wings, the thighs, the back, the shreds of clinging breast meat…but that one beautiful breast medallion…

So darned toothsome, so delicately juicy and citrus-scented flavorful…it seemed a thousand pities to put it into the freezer, to be lost in Worcestershire-driven sauce.

So this afternoon, I sat down with a Tupperware containing half a chicken breast, a small serving of potatoes and a smaller one of corn. While my kids cheerfully downed PB&J and milk, I enjoyed my leftover luncheon with a little glass of not-at-all-bad white wine, followed up with a homemade cookie and a cup (or two, or possibly three) of strong-brewed French-press coffee.

Luxury is so very relative.

I have had a very luxurious day, thus far.

And you…?

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