trash dinner

It was pouring, it was dinnertime, and I had a fridge full of garbage. I stood on one foot, my food-gazing pose of choice, and considered: How bad did I not want to run out for groceries?

(Really, really bad.)

I considered my options. A tupperware full of grayish leftover mashed potatoes from last Thursday. A package of ground turkey in the freezer.

Hope sprang.

I investigated the crisper: One slightly questionable carrot (you want to save one carrot? he asked me a couple of weeks ago; yes, I said, not knowing what I’d do with it but somehow anticipating this moment). An onion from the bowl on top of the fridge, a stalk of celery I’d bought with great optimism for green juice, and the end of a bag of slightly freezer-burned peas. A container of cooked brown rice from last week’s tacos, half a carton of chicken stock from the quinoa E made the other night. A couple of strips of bacon from Saturday’s egg sandwiches, one slice of prosciutto curled sadly in a Ziploc, and the end of a bag of decidedly low-end pre-shredded taco cheese.

Okay. I could work with this.

Clean-out-the-fridge shepherd’s pie hardly makes me a champion. It wasn’t even pretty enough to ‘gram. But it was delicious, and it fed us, and on a Monday night in June that felt more like one in January, it was a quiet whisper from the back of the pantry, the kitchen in this new house: look. Look again.