The best part of the holidays is the leftovers.
I don’t know about you, but by the time I sit down to celebrate Thanksgiving, I’m not hungry. I don’t know if it’s that I’ve been cooking all day or that I’ve been tasting as I cook. Or maybe it’s all the talking I’m doing with everyone who’s gathered?
Whatever the reason, I’m not hungry, though I have to fill my plate with a small taste of everything: a bit of turkey, a spoonful of cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, and of course the gravy. My plate looks frighteningly full, but I can’t resist the roasted vegetables and the stuffing balls. I hear my mother’s voice in my head: “Tu as les yeux plus grands que le ventre”—Your eyes are bigger than your stomach. I love salad, but there just isn’t room on my plate, so I’ll have to come back for it later.
I take a few bites, but I’m just not hungry.
The next day, all I can think about is the leftovers and when can I start nibbling? By the time we sit down for dinner I’m hungry and I’m delighted to eat everything we made.
After a few days, the leftovers, still good, are getting a little boring—we’ve had enough. On Sunday, we take out the pots and start to transform the remains.
I begin by placing the turkey carcass in a large pot of water, adding an onion, a few carrots, a bay leaf and assorted herbs and let it simmer a few hours until the broth is full of flavor.
While that’s cooking, I cut up the turkey and combine it with some of the vegetables to turn it into a turkey-noodle soup. I use more of the turkey and vegetables with the gravy to make the filling for turkey pot pies.
The mashed potatoes and the stuffing freeze beautifully so we pack them into individual serving containers. The pies rarely make it to the freezer but when they do, I wrap them in individual portions so we can take them out when we’re in the mood.
My freezer is now full of delicious foods for when I don’t want to cook. When I’m not in the mood, it’s wonderful to see lots of homecooked meals ready and waiting to be selected for dinner. We don’t cook every night but every night we have a homecooked meal.
If you haven’t started using your freezer to store great meals, you need to consider it.
Here are some blog posts that might interest you:
Enjoy your leftovers I know I will.
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Le Kitchen Cookbook
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by Adeline M. Olmer
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