Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Leftovers

Despite the fact I have been known to watch an episode or two of the HBO series by this moniker, (mainly because its star once said hello to me at a party), today’s post isn’t about Justin Theroux.  Yes, he's delicious, but I'm talking about all those delicious leftovers clogging up your fridge once Turkey Day has come and gone.

Traditionally, the Haasbund and I don’t usually do much in the way of celebration for this holiday. In years past we have been known to frequent the place we wed for a relaxing, kitchen-free weekend. The Parker Palm Springs offers a lovely Thanksgiving meal delivered right to your door, sans the cooking and cleanup. The best part: you only have to eat it once. 

I know some people's favorite part of Thanksgiving is all the leftovers, but I'm not a huge fan of poultry.  Honestly, I really only Thanksgiving for the sweet potatoes.  

That having been said, this year, the Haasbund and I found ourselves home with a friend who had nowhere to go. That was excuse enough for me to make a big deal of the day and I set out to create an impressive menu:

Butternut Squash Soup with crème fraiche 
Arugula salad with pomegranates, pears and pecans
Dried Cherry and Port Cranberry sauce
Sweet Potato Pie with Pecans and Marshmallows
Mashed Potatoes & Chives
Chicken Apple Sausage stuffing
Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Babaka Bread Pudding
United Scoops of America Vanilla ice cream
Fresh whipped cream

Clearly more than enough for an army, never mind that we were only three adults and a toddler who's current dietary plan consists of only eating white food. Needless to say, even after sending said guest home with a care package, and gifting my neighbor with a heaping serving of bread pudding, the fridge is still full. You all know by now that I hate to waste anything, so I rose to the challenge and creatively repurposed the remains. Here is what I came up with:

Day One (Lunch) - Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich
Take a baguette, slather one side of it with mayo, the other with leftover cranberry sauce
Reheat some leftover pulled turkey in a pan with gravy
Pile turkey onto baguette, top with arugula and stuffing 
Serve with a side of sweet potatoes

Day Two (Breakfast) – Sweet Potato Pancakes with Cranberry Sauce
Mix up a batch of regular old pancakes, but stir in a helping of leftover sweet potato puree. 
Cook as you would any pancake
Top with leftover whipped cream and a heaping scoop of the Dried Cherry Cranberry Sauce

Day Three (Dinner) – Turkey and Rice Soup
Chop up some carrots, celery and an onion
Throw it in a big old sauce pan
Add Chicken or veggie stock 
Add turkey and whatever leftover fresh herbs you have on hand (I had Sage and Thyme)
Simmer over medium heat until it’s time for dinner
Serve with a hunk of baguette that’s been warmed and crisped in the oven for a few minutes with olive oil, salt & fresh pepper

Day Four (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) – Pumpkin Pie
Because my one recipe seemed to have made enough for 2 pies and I’m the only one who eats it in this house!

Day Five –Pack it up, pack it in
Admit defeat and make care packages for those folks asking for spare change at the off ramps.Then swear off ever hosting Thanksgiving again, secretly knowing you’ll jump at the chance to do so next year.

** Post Script – the dried cherry and port cranberry sauce also makes for a delicious topping on vanilla ice cream!

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