I love it when things come together unexpectedly. Friday, I was scrolling through my daily e-mail news update from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, when the headline ” ‘Use it or lose it,’ with a new attitude” caught my eye. Mostly because of the accompanying tagline, “Cook it while it’s fresh. Eat it when you’re ready.”
The author, Joe Yonan, began by relating his challenges with not letting fresh veggies die an undignified death in his refrigerator’s “rotter” drawer. Even though I eat lots of veggies and have someone else in the house to help me eat them, I all too often have to toss some fuzzy or slimy specimen with a cloud of guilt and remorse hovering over me. I’m better than I once was about avoiding food waste, but with my often-hectic schedule, something’s bound to fall through the cracks.
Then I read this paragraph, and I swear I heard angels singing:
Tamar Adler has the answer: Instead of trying to keep everything fresh and raw until the clock is counting down toward mealtime and then fitting it into a predetermined recipe, cook everything as soon as you get home from the market. Not all in a jumble or stew, but separately and in ways that maximize each item’s potential.
Yes. Yes! I already do this…sort of. What I mean by that is that I will often roast a pan or two of veggies and eat them for the next handful of days, gently warmed or served cold as a component of a green or grain salad. But that’s just the beginning…I decided on the spot that needed to do more of that! And to start, I needed to get my own copy of Tamar Adler’s book!

I let my fingers do the walking to Amazon, and typed in “An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace,” only to discover…I already own a copy of this book! It was part of my birthday present last month from Jeff, who will from this day forward be known as The Best Gift-Giver Ever. (We’ll just forget about that time years and years ago when he gave me a set of martini glasses for Christmas…and I was years and years away from actually liking martinis.) There is something quite wonderful about being given a gift that you really really want…but you didn’t even know it yet.