Friday, November 23, 2018
—Thanksgiving Day, for those of us in the U.S.—perhaps you are already turning green at the thought of a week yet to come of turkey leftovers.
I'm not, at our home. Though we definitely overcook—a twenty pound bird for only three of us—we have finally found a response to the dilemma of leftovers. My husband, whose immediate family history put him growing up in restaurants—working, not dining—has a tradition of cleaning the bird immediately after dinner, then saving it for the stock pot the next morning. He roasts the bones in the oven with some vegetables, then sets up his gigantic stock pot and begins the simmering process of making turkey broth.
We freeze multiple containers of this broth for soups throughout the winter, of course. But over the years, we've also discovered that we can chop up all that leftover turkey and freeze a good portion of it in each of those soup containers. Makes for some hearty soups and helps us avoid dry turkey leftover syndrome.
Maybe at your house, you do things differently. I know some people pull out, at the other end of the feast day, feeling somewhat like their next step should be this:
Dietotherapy? Maybe that's not for you. Maybe your approach is to grit your teeth and persevere through one hundred iterations of turkey leftovers. Pretty soon, though, you'll get desperate enough for that new variation on the theme that makes you wish you could have found a recipe book like this, only for turkey instead of oysters:
In case you're wondering, I would never recommend considering Turkey à la mode—nor oysters. But I suppose everyone needs to find her own path. I hope your sensible plan for recuperating from yesterday's feast suits you just fine, and you are now on to a sensible plan for avoiding today's madness at department stores everywhere.
And if you are just the type to be curious as to how our ancestors used to prepare their feasts—whether fancy or fulfilling—you might be interested in the trove of thousands of old cookbooks assembled at Internet Archive. Old church recipe books, even. It proved to be a fascinating diversion for me the other afternoon—though I have yet to find that church cookbook with all the wonderful treats my mother baked when I was growing up. Who knows, maybe someone will upload even that little paperback ladies' fundraiser to the Internet, eventually.