In the immediate aftermath of our wedding reception we possessed nary a thought to the vast amount of leftovers that once comprised our wedding bounty.
Short of a refrigerated storage locker we were left with little options. So instead we turned our stalwart attentions toward more meaningful activities, like opening wedding presents and cards and judging family and friends for their financial contributions.
In all we were left with a large flock of chicken breasts (about three cubic square feet), 15 gallons of green beans, a bathtub-sized portion of mashed potatoes, and boxes upon boxes of wine. Nothing classes up a wedding reception to me like boxes of wine — and lots of them.
I hate wasting food, but there were simply too many matrimonial matters to manage at the time. I think you’ll find that after nine months of planning and on the night of your wedding reception that individually packaging pieces of poultry doesn’t rank too high on the old priority list.
Even if the meal carried an expensive price tag that rivaled the gross domestic product of most Caribbean islands.
I even had to kiss an entire keg of beer goodbye that night. I don’t know how it feels to have a child taken away from you, but as I watched that full keg roll out the door I couldn’t help but think the states of mind were similar.
I remember briefly thinking that I could take it with us on our honeymoon. Then I realized a marriage should not have “secret honeymoon keg-drinking” as one of its cornerstones, and it wouldn’t set a healthy precedent for our budding marriage if I did.
It wasn’t until our arrival back home that we learned of my mother’s generosity, along with a closer look into her psyche. Unbeknownst to the both of us my mother took it upon herself to package each and every piece of chicken after our reception, which she stowed in her large, industrial-sized freezer.
You should have witnessed all of the chicken carcasses in there. It looked like the Kentucky Fried Chicken version of the Jeffrey Dahmer murders.
And my mother didn’t stop there. No, mere logic would not allow her to do so. She even preserved and froze 15 gallons of green beans.
Look, I’ll let you in on a little secret. I love green beans. Sometimes certain hearty meals demand green beans. There have been days when I have devoured a whole can of green beans in one sitting, uncooked.
Yet that in no way means I want to sit around all day force-feeding myself 15 gallons worth of wedding green beans.
Not all of the wedding leftovers survived. That’s right; there were causalities along the way. The mashed potatoes did not make it. The little guys never stood a chance, and they were quickly reintroduced into the local ecosystem.
After giving us all the food, my mother handed me a large plastic bag filled with ornamental plastic silverware. Not packaged plastic silverware, loose silverware, a grab bag of plastic silverware.
Apparently my mother painstakingly went through each bag of trash after wedding reception and rescued and washed each spoon, fork and knife.
Let me tell you something. When I am eating 15 gallons of green beans there is nothing I love using more than nasty, gruesome tableware that has been plucked out of nearby trash receptacles. Or so my mother thinks.
Since then we have began the tall task of attempting to eat three times our body weight in chicken and green beans while simultaneously consuming generous amounts of boxed wine. And it’s tough, it’s so, so tough.
For the last three months I have lived entirely off of chicken, green beans and wine. I’m not even sure if I should be eating this much chicken.
This can’t be healthy. I’ll probably wind up giving myself botulism, but it’s worth the risk.
I just hope I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch.