Pioneer Woman

There are few things more personally satisfying for me than polishing off dinner leftovers. There’s a teensy bit of that pioneer spirit that makes me want to repurpose last night’s dinner into something new and delicious and worthy of a second take. And often it is not “new and delicious,” but at least it’s gone.

I must say, lately we are killing it in the leftovers department. Last night’s roast chicken dinner? *Bam*—nuked and sliced over salad the next day for lunch. Or *bam*—diced and turned into chicken salad. Or *bam*—shredded and stirred in matzo-ball soup. And that’s just chicken. Most leftovers of any sort—pork chops, roasted veggies, salmon—I’ll pile on top of a salad for lunch. Or stir in with morning eggs. And my weariness of eating virtually the same thing for a few days in a row can’t steal my joy of finishing them. We’re eating our leftovers—yay, us! However, the days when I am forced to step on our garbage can pedal, hold my nose, and toss the ancient beef stew into the trash are sadly far from gone. When I must throw out leftovers gone bad—it’s a crushing defeat. Darn you, slow-cooker pork from last week—you’re just not worth the risk!

Calling myself a pioneer woman is a pretty grand overstatement. I shouldn’t be so proud of eating leftovers. But deep down, I know I’m just not tough enough to eat the same thing twice a day for days on end. A day and a half, yes. After that and I start to get cranky. And a pioneer woman would shovel her own damn snow. But yesterday, when I asked Josh if he needed help shoveling our front walk, I asked in that voice that really meant, “Please, please don’t take me up on my offer! I hate shoveling snow! And it’s so warm inside.” I’m sure the pioneer woman composts. When I think of composting, I think, yuck. I also think, bugs and rats. And a pioneer woman is probably a master camper, able to sleep every night under the stars and subsist on nuts, berries, and squirrel meat. My idea of camping is to go to the woods for the day and then catch a ride home before it gets dark. Home is where my bed is. And my hair dryer.

I know having that true pioneer spirit is probably the best way to be, but frankly, I’m going to have to settle for pride in finishing up my dinner leftovers. I’m just too lazy and not good enough to embrace my inner pioneer woman.

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