It happens every year, as predictable as Thanksgiving itself yet we always act surprised… what, you ask? LEFTOVERS!
You cook and cook and cook and the meal is praised, devoured and then, in a blink of an eye, it becomes unappreciated leftovers. Oh sure, we joke about having to make turkey pancakes, turkey ice cream and turkey tacos but it’s really not funny if you’re the one who spent hours in the kitchen preparing the feast. They were thankful when they sat down but now that they are full they become ungrateful so and sos… But, what can we do?
I am glad you asked! 🙂
Before you head to the grocery store, CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE!!! I know, it’s a pain in the posterior however you will save so much time before, during and after the feast that you will thank me profusely and want to send me wads of cash. Okay, maybe I crossed the line with the whole “wads of cash” thing but you will thank me, I promise!
- Throw out anything expired, other leftovers that won’t be eaten by Wednesday night and that one container that looks like little Jimmy’s science project.
- Wipe down the shelves and walls.
- Cook what you can out of the freezer and give it as once over as well.
- Put all like kinds together… you know how to do this, why am I telling you? Just get busy and DO IT already!
Your fridge will be ready, your life will be stress free and your wrinkles will disappear when you bring in those 37 bags of groceries.
On one of your many trips to the store the weekend before Thanksgiving, pick up some freezer containers. They are relatively inexpensive considering the aggravation they will save when it comes to leftovers.
Here’s what I suggest:
Either before or immediately after the meal, hand each diner a container and ask them to fill it with their favourites. It’s important to do this immediately because once the meal gets cold the food enters the “leftover food group” stage. Do it while the turkey is steaming, the mashed potatoes are fluffy and the gravy is still in a liquid state. Leave the lids off until the food has cooled and then close them, mark them and freeze those suckers for later! Since everyone has filled their own container they are getting exactly what they want and, because they filled them while the food was still hot, they are saving a meal, not leftovers! You will be amazed how much food this will save and without any whining or extra effort on your part.
Now, since you’re going to the store anyway, make sure you have plenty of these. Oh sure, you already have containers but these are great because they:
- take up less fridge space
- don’t have to be washed later
- are relatively inexpensive
- will help you organize what leftovers you do have
Okay, this is important. DO NOT put that turkey in the fridge until it has been deboned, skinned (if you don’t like the skin which is just nuts but, oh well) and placed in one of those freezer bags.
If you’re really clever, and we both know that you are, use the large freezer bags and already have them filled with other ingredients, like vegetables to make turkey soup. You add the deboned turkey and like a kitchen miracle, you have a meal ready to go that can be cooked anytime this winter. wow… you amaze me! 😉
Those are just a few tricks that will help make life after Thanksgiving dinner easier.
What are your tricks? I know you have a few, please feel free to tell us by commenting below.