Dinner Sans Souci — Thursday Night Dinner Chez Nous

Sans souci has that certain Gallic je ne sais quoi– “carefree” is the English equivalent, a fine word too.

Please don’t confuse ourThursday night dinner ritual with anything going on at Frederick the Greats’s summer palace in Potsdam with the same name.


The reason dinner is a carefree walk in the park on Thursday night is because we cook for a family of two.Sooner or later, no matter how faithful we are at heating up last dinner’s meal for lunch, buying the tiniest package of meat, or proactively cooking for the freezer, the refrigerator compartment has too much food lounging around. About the freezer: at last check, I have two trays of stuffed shells, two quarts of minestrone, a gallon and a half of chicken stock, twelve individually frozen patties of homemade breakfast sausage and a tub of moussaka. Severe thunderstorms are blasting their way through tonight; pray God the power doesn’t go out!

We try, we really do. But, every single damn week as Thursday rolls around, there’s enough First World guilt lying in the fridge to shame me into Thursday Leftover Night. Here’s tonight’s dinner:


That Italian free-form meatloaf, cooked Italian-style with red peppers and onions was some kind of delicious five days and two lunches ago. By now, it’s mostly meh. I made the guacamole tonight because I found some avocados I’d forgotten about, half a lime , some parsley and a lone Roma tomato. I wasn’t crazy about the chicken legs first time around, but hey — pulled off the bone and stuffed into some revivified (wrap in damp paper towel and zap for ten seconds) pita bread, topped with guac… maybe.

Maybe I’ll heat up the meatloaf, top it with some tzisiki made with that aging tub of Greek yoghurt in the fridge, stuff it in a pita, and hope.

Tomorrow will be even more sans souci, because the rule is: whatever doesn’t get consumed on Thursday gets tossed. Guilt-free.



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4 responses to “Dinner Sans Souci — Thursday Night Dinner Chez Nous

  1. There’s just something to the KNOWING of what to prepare, what to expect, at a certain meal, a certain time (at least as certain as the depths of our cluttered fridge can yield). I used to envy a friend whose menus, grocery lists, and nights-of-the-week were so crisply delineated, with just the right ingredients to hand, and the timer hung round her neck on a woven cord as she and her husband enjoyed a leisurely glass of wine while awaiting the DING.

    They had Spaghetti Night on Thursdays, I remember, and I think I’d have liked that one best, for the commonplace of it and the ease of her method.

    Your own re-working, the little changes and additions and dressing-up-in-new-clothes—genius.

    And you have my congratulations and envy for the ability to recognize all the items you’ve retrieved. Considering our chilly oubliette, I’m fortunate in my love of a mystery.

    • Rachel — every one of your comments is better than my post.

      • kim shook

        I know how you feel…if I didn’t love her, it would really burn my butt!

        Good God! You posted this in MAY and I’m just getting to it. Can you tell how insane my home life has been? Just from that. I am NOT a big leftover fan, but Mike insists. He grew up on Thursday “Mustgoes” (Friday was fish night) and has a horror of waste. Your mention of loss of electricity and your freezer gave me the shivers because we just had that happen. The plug of our big freezer got knocked out while some renovations were going on and we blithely went on vacation. Stink? To heaven. Roasts, chickens, and all of my homemade stocks. Boo hoo!

  2. Kouign Aman

    Usually its Saturday night here, and I LOVE it. Everyone picks what they want out of the selection. For one meal a week, everyone is happy. Your selection is much nicer than ours usually is. Wanna swap? Chicken never gets that far tho. It gets dropped into the pot of rice when the water starts to boil, and gets cooked into the rice along with a ton of chopped greens.

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