After the holidays, it’s waste not, want not
My husband and I attended a party shortly before Christmas. On the menu were roasted oysters. They were cooked over a fire and dumped on tables outside. There were holes in the tables, and those enjoying the fresh seafood could deposit their shells into the holes in the middle of the tables. They landed in trash cans. (It was a lovely party, by the way, with fried fish, a great salad, dessert and lots of other goodies. Not to mention the great company.)
My husband hates to see anything go to waste. He made a deal with the hosts, and the next morning he was back at their house to collect the trash cans full of oyster shells.
The hosts were probably a little confused, but not surprised. They know my husband and his propensity for collecting stuff that others might consider unwanted. I am sure they were glad they did not have to haul away trash cans full of smelly shells.
My husband took them to the cabin and used them to fill holes in the driveway caused by erosion. I know it may sound crazy, but the shells actually do a good job of filling in the holes, and they do not wash away.
Speaking of waste not, want not, I usually have tons of leftovers after Christmas, but this year was an exception. I don’t know if it was because we fed so many or because my husband is finally learning not to cook too much. It might have been because my older daughter was helping with the cleanup. She doesn’t believe in leftovers and loves to throw away.
Anyway, hating to see anything going to waste, my husband makes me wash and collect margarine and cottage cheese containers. I put them all to good use on Christmas Day. I pulled them out of the cabinet and filled them with leftovers and piled my refrigerator full of mystery containers.
First, it was a good sign that the leftovers fit in those small containers.
Second, it was somewhat annoying in the mornings when I toasted my English muffin and then went searching the refrigerator for margarine. My poor English muffin got cold while I opened container after container, only to find butter peas or cranberry sauce. I usually didn’t get to margarine until the third or fourth try. I also spilled a large dollop of my husband’s very spicy tomato sauce. (Again, waste not, want not. He had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year.)
But finally, it was a good thing because my husband steadily worked his way through those plastic containers, at least until the weekend. I am sure there were at least 10 of them.
It was kind of like eating at the Automat blind. You never knew what was in a container until you opened it. And by then I was so confused I just ate what was in the tub I opened.
I knew we were almost at the end of the Christmas leftovers when I opened a plastic container labeled cottage cheese and, much to my surprise, it was filled with cottage cheese.
My refrigerator is getting pretty bare. He ate at the cabin New Year’s Day, so most of those leftovers are still there. He will bring them home sooner or later.
I am a Yankee and don’t care for boiled greens or even black-eyed peas, so I didn’t grieve about not partaking in the traditional meal for New Year’s Day.
I have washed most of those plastic containers and shoved them into the kitchen cabinets anywhere I can find room. They will stay there and be used occasionally until this summer.
I will clean out my kitchen cabinets and throw out a large portion of those containers. Surreptitiously. My husband would have a heart attack if he actually saw a plastic container or margarine tub in the trash.
But not to worry; they will add up again, and there will be plenty there for Christmas.
Am I the only one who has to hide things in the trash? My husband actually goes through the recycling to make sure I have not thrown away a catalog he wants to keep.
Paula Travis is a retired teacher from the Newton County School System. She can be reached at ptravis@ covnews.com.