Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 in Review - Leftovers Redux

When it comes to holiday feasts, I'm mostly a traditionalist. This year, as in years past, I cooked up an entirely homemade feast of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts and squash, rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. While I relished each bite freshly prepared, the leftovers might be better than the main event. I ate my fill at dinner time and picked at leftovers throughout the day on Thursday, but Friday when was the experimenting began.

Leftovers found a new fate as soon as I woke up Friday morning, starting with oatmeal with candied sweet potatoes (made with butter, maple syrup, and walnuts) and cranberry sauce.

Sweet potatoes, turkey, and cranberry sauce found their way into my lunch in the form of turkey fried rice with sweet potatoes, peas, and a cranberry teriyaki sauce. If hadn't eaten all the squash and Brussels sprouts the day before, I would have used them here in lieu of the peas I had to retrieve from the freezer.

Cocktail hour is a fine way to start Friday night, with cranberry sauce finding a purpose there as well. In a take on a smash cocktail, I combined gin, cranberry sauce, lemon juice, and simple syrup, topped with an optional splash of soda water.

With my appetite properly whetted, I moved on to the main course - a turkey and Gruyere melt with cranberry sauce, a side of gravy for dipping, and candied sweet potato hash.

Saturday's lunch was a slapdash shepherd's pie, a fine place to use up turkey and any lingering veggies, or a way to sneak some fresh ones in.

The last of the mashed potatoes were devoured in a hearty Sunday morning breakfast of potato pancakes, dunked in the last of the gravy, and scrambled eggs with veggies.

Lunch was a bit lighter fare, the penultimate bits of turkey added to a spinach salad of red onion, dried cranberries, toasted walnuts, and blue cheese, topped with a cranberry sauce vinaigrette, and accompanied by the last of the rolls.

Breakfast for dinner is in the works for tonight, the very last of turkey likely finding its way into a hearty clean-out-the-fridge hash or quinoa stir-fry, officially closing out Thanksgiving and helping me get ready for my next winter CSA delivery on Wednesday.

So tell me, how did you use your leftovers?

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