Photo: A wild turkey


Hello everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving...we are now entering the holiday season..

In this time of less we must all step up so that we can feed our families and keep food on the table. I am sure we all have leftovers from this weekend. So I decided I was going to take this post to tell you what I did to make a difference. I tried to use up all that I had bought. In sharing maybe I taught you something new. Maybe I made a difference is how someone looks at what they considered a leftover. 

First let us start with the turkey. I picked off what meat I could get off the bird, don’t make yourself work too hard, just a quick pick. First I picked out any decent sized meat to make a sandwich or two. With the little pieces I chopped into bite size and put 2 cups each into a freezer quart bag. Squeeze air out and roll up and then put at least 4 filled bags into a freezer gallon bag. With these they can be used to make soup, pot pies, tetrazzini, faux bq, or even cream of turkey on toast, or  anything you would like turkey with. 

Making faux  barbeque out of it. I put into a small crockpot with bq sauce and let simmer for awhile and it takes very good, on a bun, a baked potato.

Cream of Turkey on Toast – you make a white sauce (like a gravy) with green peppers and turkey on toast. I will share that recipe and a picture sometimes this week.

With the carcass and the bits left on it. I put the whole inside my pasta boiler pan. You know the one with the strainer pan that goes inside a regular pot .  I then added water about 6 inches above it all and let it boil away making at least a gallon of broth. When done you just pull out the strainer pan and pick off any remaining meat (comes off easier after boiling ) and finally throw that carcass out. 

The  broth is then divided it up into quarts. I put the other 3 quarts into the freezer. With the last quart I put into a pot or a crock pot and started the base to a soup. I picked whatever was left on the  carcass and that actually gave me enough meat (If not stop here and get one of the two cups heading for the freezer). Adding that to your soup.  I had a veggie plate also for thanksgiving. So I chopped up all the carrots, celery and added onion to my soup. I also add another 3 cups of water, or chicken broth, or more turkey broth, but usually just water and a some chicken bouillon. I also add any other veggies. Like the peas, Lima beans, and green beans. This makes a nice soup.  Sometimes, I add rice in it, sometimes I make noodles ahead and just pour soup over them and then sometimes I let the noodles cook in it all. It really all depends on how you like things.

If you have a pie crust hanging about you can also just thicken this all up (minus any noodles or rice), and at this point I even add all my leftover gravy,  and make a pot pie. I always keep a pie crust in freezer, you know like the Pillsbury, the one you just roll out. In a pinch you can thicken up and just put on refrigerator biscuits on top. As long as there is that lovely turkey gravy broth and something to sop it up with.. gosh I'm hungry just telling you what I am doing to day.

Now on to the ham. I first take out the nice slices, enough for a sandwich or two. If there are a great many slices, I will portion into a ham meal and seal it for the freezer. With the smaller chunks I can cut into bite  size pieces and fill a snack baggie full. And place them into a freezer quart. Saving them for omelets, pizza, and soups or smaller add in.
I always save the ham bone.. either for some collard greens or some great beans on into the winter. Good on a cold day with cornbread.

This year I took a portion and made my moms ham salad. Put your ham in a processor, a bit of onion, mayonnaise, sweet relish and splash of mustard. I just love this.  I will also share this recipe soon too.

Mashed potatoes I usually try to use them up the next day. I will add an egg, a little flour and make potato cakes.

Stuffing , is always gone, they love it fried. So I just do that
Sweet potatoes, I always, take them and buy won ton wrappers and make a sweet potato pirogi. Just stuff the won ton and cook in a bit of butter. Yummy. 

With any of the other leftover vegetables, like cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, onions. I will roast them and have with a first meal and then with leftovers, puree down and put into my meatloaf. Usually after a week of turkey they are ready for some meatloaf.

The pies, if they are only half done, I will probably cut them and freeze them, by portions.  Apple pie freezes well and heats back up really good. So if they don’t heat them up as single servings, I will have them for Christmas week.

I also made a spinach dip, in making it this year, I made the mixture and split into two containers and when ready I filled a throw away foil dish and baked a portion right then. Hot and tasty. With this other portion I am going to use to fill my sweet peppers, or make a crescent roll up. If it makes it till Christmas I will use it again as a dip.

My crab dip will just get put up, until Christmas eve appetizer night. It is still in mixture form, so all I  will need to do is thaw and bake.

I also bought a big bag of shredded cheese, I will re portion it into freezer quarts and freeze. I crumbles just the same. 

All the other sides, like the casseroles, I try to incorporate them into other meals during the week.

I think that just about cleared my refrigerator out.  For a palate cleaning meal tonight, we are having pizza.

I hope I at least left you with an idea, maybe saving something you thought you couldn’t re-use. Saving a bit on groceries.

I am in a hurry to post this, but I want to wish every a very Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours. Make the days yours, make memories.
“It really is just that simple”


Mad Hen said…
Leftover ham also makes a great addition to lentil soup. :)

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