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November 25, 2012 - Jen Zbozny
On Thanksgiving I found myself asking my relatives and friends about holidays in their childhood. I wanted to know about special dishes they ate and what they looked forward to most. I wanted to know memorably humorous or singularly distinctive tales. I dined on excellent food, the warmth of dear friends and family, and my favorite thing -stories.

Often we hear how the leftovers are the best part of the meal. It's deeply satisfying to know there's a wonderful meal, already home-cooked, waiting in the refrigerator. We no longer have to observe the formalities of the original meal but are free to improvise, pile high an ordinary plate, maybe even curl up on the couch with it and a good book or an old movie. The flavors magically meld together over time, adding richness that differs from the original meal, making it that much more memorable. There are even those who, not fans of leftovers per se, enjoy the intrigue of finding new variations on simple leftovers. Turkey and vegetables become potpies or soup, mashed potatoes become potato pancakes. The original meal offers a whole new set of possibilities.

I feel that way about the stories I've collected over the years. I watched my family members reliving wonderful memories when they regaled me with tales of times and days gone by. Like Thanksgiving, they were excellent the first time, and like the leftovers, the stories have the same deeply satisfying magic of having become richer for letting their flavors meld together over time. I assure you I piled my plate high and relished every bit.

I hope you did too. And I really hope you share your leftovers of anecdotes and memories with your little ones. It will nourish them for life.


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