I'm slowly turning in to my mother. This realization both comforts and frightens the heck out of me. See, I've begun to notice that like my mother, I now save the choicest morsels for Little Man, I no longer freak out when clumsy hands shatter my favorite dish, and I look forward to afternoon chai time all day. I fear that the transformation to full-on Pakistani aunty'ness, complete with the soap opera watching and the hours of phone chatter about absolutely nothing, can't be all that far behind. Like I said, it's terrifying.
The event that triggered the realization that I'm becoming my mother's clone? Why that'd be leftovers. Allow me to explain. When we were growing up, my mother would save the leftovers from a few dinners and when she had a leftover pile that she was content with, she would declare a random night of the week to be a Leftover Party dinner. You never knew when it would hit. And just in case you had any doubt, adding the word party after the word leftovers does not actually make it a party. My brother and I hated Leftover Party night. Inevitably, there'd be one thing on the table that you didn't mind eating again. But it would be surrounded by three of four things you absolutely refused to eat again. So you either had to be fastest to the draw in grabbing the item of choice, or you'd be stuck with an entire meal of leftovers you despised.
In becoming my mother, I recently I realized I've begun to like leftovers. Maybe even, love leftovers. See, having leftovers means the Hubster and I can bring a lunch to work that consists of real food and that we don't have to run out for a burger come lunch time (but running out for an afternoon snack of curly fries is still totally permissible). Having leftovers also means not having to worry about dinner on Parenthood, Big Bang Theory, or How I Met Your Mother nights.
This year, we were blessed with an abundance of Thanksgiving turkey. There was, of course, the 12-pound "practice" turkey that I made the weekend before Thanksgiving. Then, there was the giant 22-pound bird I made for Thanksgiving. And if the leftovers from those two birds weren't enough, we somehow walked out with a giant plate of leftover turkey from a Friendsgiving hosted by some friends. And even staring into a fridge filled with nothing but tupperwares of turkey, I had the genius idea of suggesting I make a third turkey just so I could perfect my turkey technique. Luckily, the Hubster put a kaibosh on that plan rather quickly.
Faced with a massive pile of turkey leftovers, we made turkey sandwiches, and turkey pot pies, and a turkey version of this stroganoff. And still, we were left with a lot of turkey. A lot. And all of a sudden, the weather in San Francisco changed to actual winter (well, West Coast winter, at least). Heck, one day, it was 36 degrees. That's real live winter, folks. And more importantly, it's soup weather! And so, we busted out a precious container of homemade turkey stock from the freezer and made Turkey and Wild Rice soup filled with fresh vegetables, hearty rice, and most importantly, plenty of turkey chunks.
On day one, I ate that delicious soup straight up. On day 2, I doctored it up with a heavy squirt of sriracha, lime juice, and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and slurped it during a work lunch meeting. There may have been some envious glances and I'm guessing it wasn't because of my less than stellar combo of heavy white cotton socks and high heels. We still have a few servings of soup left and you know what that means, leftovers! And now that I've accepted that I'm turning in to my mother, I'm guessing my obsession with Pakistani soap operas is not that far behind.
6 cups of turkey or chicken stock
1 cup finely diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups chopped turkey
1 cup wild rice
2 tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed stock pot. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add remaining vegetables and cook on low heat until vegetables soften. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Add the wild rice and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add chopped turkey, stock, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook on a low heat for 45-60 minutes until wild rice is cooked. Season with salt and pepper.