In the long-deceased but extremely-well-loved-by-a-small-fraction-of-the-population show My So-Called Life, Angela Chase, the main character, waxes poetic in one episode about the way her father heats up leftovers. He, as we learn in the first and only season of the show, is somewhat of a budding chef and so it would make sense that he’d be the more apt parent to competently reheat leftovers.
But of course, the deeper philosophical implication –which is the main reason the show was canceled– was the fact that Angela’s dad had a less complex and therefore more outward love for his daughter than the über-neurotic mother did. And Angela could absorb that straightforward love through something as pedestrian and simple as warming up day(s)-old food.
I am a fan of leftovers.
To me, there is something special in rediscovering bits and pieces of a meal that (ideally) was satisfying the first time around. Some leftovers even taste better than the original meal, as the flavors concentrate and/or mellow as they age a little, and I think that’s just a bonus surprise in addition to realizing that you don’t have to cook your own supper.
Leftovers are like a little surprise, at times– a bonus. They are also like a second memory, that along with a scent or a feel or a déjà vu can trigger things long or not-so-long-ago forgotten.
Plus, at free or nearly free, they are cheap. And when you have a loving spouse who takes the time to reheat them and make them special just so you don’t have to even think about dinner, then they take on a whole new meaning and I remember Angela and her dad, and the deeply meaningful show that was not picked up for a second season because of moments like those.