If you can’t stand the heat …
… go to Hell’s Kitchen!*
For lunch at Bali Nusa Indah, like I did today! May I introduce to you the co-stars at my table? Say hello to the saucy Kari Tahu and her succulent companion, Terong Belado:
Kari Tahu (tofu curry) and Terong Belado (eggplant in hot chili sauce)
I wasn’t able to finish everything, so I brought it home (without spilling anything on my white pants), ostensibly as “leftovers”. You see, on more than one occasion when I’ve eaten lunch at a restaurant, my tiny delicate stummy (that’s preciouspeak for “stomach” blended with “tummy”) (if I ever say this word in real life, please feel free to punch me in the solar plexus) has been unable to accommodate all the food, so I’ve had to bring it home.** And every single time, without fail, I get all happy, nudge myself in the side, and say, “Oh, this is so great! I love leftovers! This takes care of dinner for tonight!” Whereupon I pirouette three times before getting on my shy unicorn, who wafts me home on a lilac zephyr.
And more often than not, I eat the leftovers within two hours of bringing them home. Most times, I finish them before they’ve even had a chance to cool off. Which begs the question (I mean it … begs), When do we stop considering “doggie bag” food as part of the meal from which it originated and start regarding it as a distinctly separate one, i.e. leftovers?***
This is an issue that has stumped me for longer than any issue has a right to stump someone. Fortunately, however, I have access to one of the greatest sources of wisdom a girl could ever want: the DOG. I posed this question to him in email last July when I originally found myself in this quandary, and, true to form, he was quick to respond, as follows:
The lines embracing definitional leftovers are at best elusive. Clearly however I don’t believe leftovers qualify as such when you are tearing
open the canine container and stuffing paneer in your cakehole while seated on the F on the ride home from the Indian restaurant you just left.
The basic tenets are simple. It is my learned view that a lunch leftover qualification would entail several hours of refrigerator time, then perhaps a dinner infusion. Otherwise it is merely a long face stuffing. Further, dinner orts qualify as scraps only if eaten the next day. Yes, after midnight would qualify. However it gets dicey if one is on a daily 6 meal regimen, the rules blur and everything seems a constant injection of leftovers.
Food for thought I suppose.
So today I am guilty of a “long face stuffing”. Oh well. If you can’t stand the heat … eat it cold from the refrigerator!****
* The neighborhood, that is. Not to be confused with the entire city of New York, which for the past few days could earn that name.
** I do not believe in waste. Do not get me started on people who, when the server asks, “Would you like to take that home with you?” simply wave a hand and say, “No.” And don’t write to tell me, “But, Jodi, I do that because I don’t want to have to trudge all around the mall afterward with the bag.”
*** Please ignore the quasi-Carrie Bradshaw tone. I assure you it was unintentional. And I was not wearing a white Hanro tank top, boycut panties (!), smoking a cigarette, and sipping a glass of wine as I gazed out my Upper East Side window when I wrote it, either. (Please. I live on the Upper West Side.)
**** At least I heated it up. I did not stand in front of the icebox and pick at it with my fingers.