Leftovers

By Joseph J. Mazzella • April 1, 2021

When I was a boy growing up I can not once ever remember either my Mom or my Nana wasting food. Anything we didn’t eat at one meal was saved, stored, and served as leftovers later on. I can remember my Nana making a huge pot of brown beans with a large cake of cornbread. We would all eat until we were stuffed but there was always about half of the beans left over. A few days later Nana would take those beans out of the refrigerator, boil pasta, add parsley and mix them all together into her delicious Pasta Fasule. And I also remember when I watched my Mom fry bacon for us in the mornings she would always take the grease and carefully pour it into a container. Then she later would use it to flavor up so many other dishes. I was an adult before I realized that green beans didn’t actually taste like bacon.

I learned their lessons well and after I grew up tried to never waste food myself. I always planned the week’s meals ahead of time and only bought what was on my shopping list so nothing went to waste. Every meal went into a tummy and any leftovers were later eaten by either myself, my boys, or my dogs. To me throwing food in the trash was just wrong. All the work it took to grow it, harvest it, and prepare it needed to be honored not wasted.

I learned something else over the years, however: When it comes to living there are no leftovers. Each moment that you don’t live is lost forever. Life cannot be saved. Life cannot be stored. Life has to be lived, TODAY!

Live each moment of your life to the fullest then. Make every day a feast of love with no leftovers. Leo Buscaglia once said: “Each day is a fresh beginning, a little life unto itself.” Don’t let any of these little lives go to waste. They are a gift from God. Cherish them. Care for them. Chow down on them. Live your life with a full belly and a full heart.

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