leftover territory

Grilled turkey

I already feel like a hockey player and am ready with the hip check, wanting to protect what’s mine… in the fridge. I feel like the shelves of the fridge need to be partitioned into equal territories. As if our leftover plates should be assembled in advance, with our names marking our holdings. Because if you sleep late, forget it. Your next chance at sweet potatoes is cleaning toddler ears. It’s sick, so so sick, that I feel I need to be the first to sleep, so I can be the first to rise, and beat my sister to the leftovers.

There was a plan of turkey pot pie, no sandwiches. But really, I’m happy with a repeat of tonight. I don’t need creative recipes for leftovers. I just need more of them. Though with all these unused bags of dried, cubed, baguette, I’m tempted to compose a bread pudding, perhaps with prailines, or a touch of brandy, or just heaps of brown sugar. When I hear "day old bread," I don’t think "feed the pigeons." I think, "Oooh, custard."

I’m not going to lie, there’s a deep, primal, rage there, between us, a sibling rivalry. Where I can tell she wants to stab me in the face if I even think of htting up the sweet potatoes before she does. My mother’s sweet potatoes are so sweet, that they’re really sweet potato pie, without the pie. But this year, I’m not going there. At all. They’re hers for the taking. That, or I’m making a leftovers plate now and hiding it at the neighbor’s house while she’s sleeping. I’m so not kidding.

Or, I could remind myself that the real loser in this scenario is the one who gorges, who hoards, who overeats to the point of exhaustion. This year I ate, but not to the point where I needed to sleep or unbutton. After dinner, I took the taters out for a walk, chasing one another on the golf course, doing jumping jacks on the greens. We touched the yellow flag, raced through sand ditches, swerved past ant hills, then tiptoed back into the house, where Tia Lea was already in bed sleeping. I’m afraid she might’ve caught our colds.

Tomorrow there will be swimming, bike rides, more playground time, and rides on the golf cart. If it rains, there might just be bowling. For now though, there’s bedtime and wine to be had. And HELLO Christmas music! Oh, how I love thee! Bring it on.



  1. Ha! Could this be a characteristic of compulsive over eaters? I kind of do the same thing.
    We have holiday dinners with my father’s side (deep south here- think smoked ham/turkey, homemade macncheese, cream corn, etc…) and I swear when I’m standing in line with all of my family to dish my plate my heart is racing b/c Im worried the macncheese will be gone by the time I get there. I feel like pushing everyone out of the way b/c I always get anxious when excellent food is involved.

    1. If you are commenting at 9:37 in the A M, who is taking care of your children?

      I’m at work, openly not giving a shit, and being paid for it.

    2. Helen..do you know ‘Julie?’ I noticed you told her to ‘get fucked’ in the last comments (and only remember it b/c it was recent and um, kind of harsh) Why are you still angry with her? Your comment has nothing to do with hers. It’s alarming.
      Julie, not an over eater (too vain, I wish I could be) but I have the same feelings about mild panic they will run out at group/family dinners when my favorite food is there. This post and comment makes me glad to feel like slightly less of a freak..

      1. CC, I know Julie, like you know Stephanie, and Phil. Exactly. That’s how well.

        I’m a drive by blog reader who blatantly wastes fortune 500 company time and steals printers and toners to give to the poor (true story,ask me how). A girl can’t afford mani/pedis and a printer!

        SOMETIMES, when I want my most delicious boss to think I’m working -I make like George Costanza feverishly typing away and respond to comments from people who live in Kansas with the tin man, and a fluffy dog.

  2. I remember being a very small child at Christmas time and walking downstairs to find my mom crouched down and doing something behind the entertainment center. I hid in the corner and watched her till she left. Then I went over and looked behind the entertainment center. She was hiding leftovers from the rest of the family. I remember thinking this was seriously disturbed behavior. But now as an adult, I totally get it.

  3. Helen, my child (singular, just one) is locked in the closet still in his polyester Spiderman jammies. Duh.

    CC, that’s the thing. Food never ran out, we always had leftovers but perhaps it’s the mob mentality (huge family on my dad’s side) that makes me feel that way. I know I felt that way at law firm dinners and what not as well. Always wanted to be first in line :D

  4. Huh, this is one emotion I don’t recognize. I think maybe it’s because in our family’s tradition, we make enough food to feed an army. We always want to make sure every guest has an opportunity to get as much as they want of every dish. So we actually have leftovers that go bad and have to be thrown away.

    That said, I can’t wait to have my turkey-on-sourdough-with-cranberry sandwich today. I’m sort of shocked that I successfully talked myself out of having it for breakfast.

  5. Ummm, leftovers. Breakfast was pumpkin pie, followed by cornbread dressing with a side of cranberry sauce. My husband is planning to make a big pot of turkey soup as I fight him for the turkey leftovers. No sandwiches, just cold turkey. Yummmy! No pie for him as it’s not sugar free. He’s yet to make his sugar free apple pie and homemade cranberry sauce. I’m sure he’ll get to it eventually. No rush, we are indulging ourselves with a Thanksgiving home alone. It’s been quite nice not to have to worry about guests and just have a 5 day holiday weekend.

  6. I feel that way about dark meat turkey! There was never enough to around when I was a kid and I refused to eat the white meat. LOL. Now it seems the family is pretty much half and half, so everyone gets what they like, but I still remember that feeling of panic that I’d get no dark meat and hence, no turkey.

  7. I’m making turkey pies with the leftovers and freezing them to savor the flavors again in a month or so when they’ll be brand new, again.

  8. I’m completely depressed this year…I didn’t cook and have no leftovers. I’m going to have our own Thanksgiving dinner this Wednesday. This way I have all the leftovers I want. My brother did the same thing yesterday and gave me the idea.

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