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How to Deal with Thanksgiving Leftovers

Hannah Salim
Painting by Hannah

     As Thanksgiving approaches, many people are beginning to think about how the parade will go, which dog will win the show, and which dishes they need to prepare for the big day. However, most people aren’t thinking about what happens after: the many holiday dishes filling their fridges to the brim. Here are some methods to clear those filled fridges:

  • Get the Food in the Refrigerator

Don’t leave the food out for too long or else it will spoil. Food should not be left out for over two hours. Food stored in the fridge should be good for three to four days. After that, either eat it or freeze it. Frozen food is best consumed within two to six months.

  • Turkey Pot Pie

Just like chicken pot pie, but turkey! Sauté diced onions and celery with butter, then add flour, chicken broth, and milk. Whisk until thickened, then add cubed turkey and diced vegetables (carrots, peas, corn, or a thawed frozen mix). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Put into a pie dish and add a premade pie crust on top, poking some small holes into the top for steam. (and egg wash if desired). Bake at 425F until golden brown. If you are intimidated by a recipe without measurements or times (a family recipe), here is Pilsbury’s pot pie recipe:

  • Turkey Paninis

Get some nice bread and some sliced white, mild cheese (like muenster or provolone) when shopping this Thanksgiving. Heat a pan or panini press while preparing the ingredients. Slice turkey as desired, then warm up stuffing and turkey. Layer bread with cheese, turkey, stuffing, and preferred cranberry condiment (sauce, relish, or jelly). Top with another slice and place into the pan/press. Heat until the cheese melts and the bread is crisp and golden brown on both sides. (If you like mayonnaise, mayo the outsides of the bread. If not, oil the pan/press.)

  • Stuffing Waffles

I’m not sure why people do this, but it is pretty interesting. Grease the waffle iron, distribute the stuffing, and cook until the stuffing is crisp on the outside but not burnt (time varies depending on the waffle iron and moisture content of the stuffing). Spoon cranberry sauce and/or gravy on top and serve with leftover turkey.

  • Potato pancakes

On the off chance that you have leftover mashed potatoes, here’s a delicious way to enjoy them that is not my or a family member’s recipe:

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