Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftovers

Another Thanksgiving Day has come and gone. What a wonderful holiday! A day centered around eating the most delicous foods and no one is expected to diet.  Erma Bombeck said: "What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?"

What do you do with the leftovers?  Is it safe eat turkey and pumpkin pie all week?

According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration),  leftovers should not be left out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours, should be cleanly placed in covered containers, and stored at the correct temperature of below 40 degrees in the refrigerator or 0 degrees in the freezer.

Once you get the leftovers into the refrigerator, most are good for around 3 days.  Recommendations: turkey: 3-4 days, gravy: 1-2 days, potatoes: 3-4 days, pumpkin pie: 2-3 days, and cranberries: 10- 14 days. So, you can make yourself a plate, cover it, and microwave or place in 350 degree oven until warmed for the first two days with the exception of gravy. Gravy needs to be boiled for at least one minute before eating. has a really good guide for keeping and using leftovers.

Turkey, vegetables, and cranberry sauce can also be frozen and reused. They can also be recycled into soups and casseroles and desserts. Turkey Pot Pie is delicious and easy to make and can use up a lot your leftovers. There are many recipes on the web but you can simply mix about 2 cups of sliced turkey, a cup or two of vegetables, and a jar of turkey gravy in a sauce pan and heat. Place in a greased one quart casserole dish and top with 2 cups leftover stuffing or mashed potatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Cranberry sauce can be added to pancakes, muffins, desserts, or try one of these 3 drinks from Bar None: Hot buttered Cranberry Punch, Right Gin Christmas Punch, or The Gobbler. Tired of pumpkin pie? Make it into a pumpkin pie parfait using vanilla ice cream or vanilla pudding, or for a special dessert try this Pumpkin Pie Parfait  recipe which also uses pound cake, cream cheese, and cool whip.

I will confess that we love Thanksgiving leftovers almost as much as we like the actual meal but after a few days, we are ready for a nice cheesy pizza.

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