Written by Mary
Last weekend I had the great pleasure to attend a Bridal Shower Tea for one of my writing friends. I went early to help the hostess make the tea sandwiches, set the table and make sure all was ready for the guest of honor.
As we were making the sandwiches, there were scraps of bread left over. We set them aside and when all the sandwiches were made, she asked what we should do with the scraps. I asked if it was OK with her, I would take them home. She asked what would I do with them? They were just scraps.
Scraps? I don’t think so. I saw the beginnings of a tasty meal. There was no way I was going to let her homemade sourdough bread go to waist.
I told her I would make my mothers “leftover” egg casserole. It’s what she made every Thursday before her regular shopping day. You toast the leftover bread, saute any veggies left in the veggie drawer. There was always something. Then you add 6-8 eggs with a cup or so of milk. Put all the ingredients in a 9×13 pan and bake at 350 degrees until eggs are set.
A beautiful meal can come from the simplest of ingredients.
My mother taught me that.
As one of eight children, food and it’s preparation was a major undertaking in my house growing up. My mother made fresh bread once a week and it would last maybe two days. The rest she bought at the discount Wonder Bread store. She went grocery shopping every two weeks and by the end of those two weeks there were only condiments and maybe a plate of leftovers in the fridge. She planned every meal down to the side dish. We lived on a very tight budget and she needed to stretch to make sure there were leftovers for my Dad to take to the office for lunch the next day.
Her shopping skills were extraordinary, taking advantage of coupons and sale flyers. She canned fruits and vegetables every summer so that the shelves were filled until Easter, when the prices of fresh vegetables in the grocery store went down. She made almost everything from scratch. Dessert was for Sundays and your birthday although she made fresh cookies or brownies once or twice a month as a special surprise.
Those were the BEST days.
I still remember the smell when we would come home from school and there was fresh bread straight out of the oven. Absolute bliss.
Ina Garten once said that “Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.” My mom was all about making sure that there was always enough even if we brought home friends from school to join the table. She would make it work.
I found out when I was older that my Mom actually didn’t like to cook. She did what was necessary for the family. I remember when she told me that how stunned I was. You would never have known. She was always happy and never complained.
Me…I am not like my mother in those respects. I love to cook and I always complain. My shopping skills are no where near what hers were. Sale flyers? What are those? I am ashamed to say, I can’t stand using coupons. I have no patience for it. Her bread was always light and mine could be used as a weapon.
The one thing that’s the same is the “leftover” egg casserole and making sure there is always enough on our table. In that I feel I have been successful.
So what is your family’s version of the “leftover egg casserole”?
The Joy Journey is a weekly series on Fine Linen and Purple by Mary. Stop by here each Friday for a fresh perspective on living the joyful life!