Thanksgiving has come and gone. Fortunately, in our house, Thanksgiving isn’t a one-day thing. It’s a spirit. A mindset. A way of life that lasts for a few solid weeks. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my Thanksgiving prep usually starts way back in October when I make the turkey stock.
Then a few days before the big day, I start to prep the other dishes. My counter fills with all kinds of odds and ends: bread cubes drying for the stuffing, my poultry shears, my seldom used ball of twine, dug out from the murky depths of my cupboards.
When people hear that I love to cook, the response is sometimes “I hate to cook – all of that effort, and the meal is over in 10 minutes.”
I get it, and Thanksgiving is the ultimate example. The time spent preparing the meal far outweighs the time we spend eating it together.
But for those of us who love to cook, that’s perfectly fine. Cooking is my therapy. My drug of choice. I’m happy to spend weeks cooking a meal that disappears in minutes.
And for those of you who hate to see it come and go so quickly, I have uplifting news: leftovers.
Was that a letdown? Don’t think of it that way. I used to hate leftovers. I still hate the name. It’s not first date food, that’s for sure. Leftovers need a re-brand. Where are those prune people anyway? Dried plums have never been so popular.
But leftovers can be one of the best parts of Thanksgiving; all of those Tupperware containers stashed in your fridge are calling out to be used in new and interesting ways.
I’ve done a quick roundup of my favorites – some of these (the everything Thanksgiving sandwich, turkey Shepherd’s pie) I make every year without fail. Others (cranberry pancakes) are new to the rotation. Some aren’t recipes at all, but stern orders (make your stock, eat pie for breakfast).
So go forth, make the best of your remaining leftovers while you still have time. The clock is ticking, by Monday you won’t want to lay eyes on any of this stuff again. At least until next November.
If you have questions on how to make any of this, leave me a note in the comments below. If you need directions for how to make pie and coffee, we’re no longer friends. If you throw out your turkey carcass, we are also no longer friends. I’m not kidding. I take carcass seriously.
One last thing….go make yourself a mug of hot apple cider and add a splash of rum. We’re officially into the holidays, Yee Haw.
I have my Turkey stock simmering now!
Awesome! I hate to see those bones go to waste 🙂
All delicious ideas! Looks like it was a good feast.
Thanks ML, I’m sure I’m missing a few must have leftover recipes, but ours were delish 🙂
That soup looks amazing!! Do you have a recipe for it??
I’ve made that so many times over the years that I don’t have a recipe, but I seem to recall that I got the original recipe from Cookie magazine: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Avgolemono-352269
Thanks! I love that it is made creamy without any dairy!! I make a whole chicken and broth nearly every week and I can’t wait to try this instead of my typical chicken soup…
You know what, I never thought about it, but you’re right- no dairy. You will LOVE this recipe- it’s super creamy and takes just a few minutes to make. I always make it when I have homemade chicken stock and need a quick meal. In fact I’m just going to make some right now- I’ve been pigging out all day and need a light meal for dinner.
the vanilla ice cream with cranberry sauce reminds me of my dad…I am sure he’s eating that tonight as well! Nice work on the leftovers- they look awesome. That is the sad part about not hosting Thanksgiving…no leftovers!
It’s a classic, I love that combo. I feel bad about not sending my guests off with a package of leftovers each. So wrong, must fix that for next year!
Why didn’t I think of these ideas. I really like the use on the pancakes. It is all the sweetness needed.
Thanks so much Peter, the cranberry was so good on the pancakes. It’s a little tough to mix into the batter since it burns quickly, but on top was heavenly. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
All of these look great. I can’t wait to try the cranberry pancake idea!