You and your family gobbled up the Thanksgiving Day meal, but now it’s time for the cleanup. Rather than groan at the thought of the chore, enlist the help of family members, and your cleanup will be a breeze.
• Have storage containers ready. Younger family members can help with cleanup by transferring mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and other side dishes into separate bowls for storage. Always label and date the containers for quickly locating in the refrigerator.
• Clean the turkey bone. Always have an adult take care of this task, putting leftover meat into separate containers for sandwiches, baked dishes and soup.
• Save the wishbone. If it’s your family tradition to save the wishbone to determine future good luck, place it out of hands of young children and pets while drying.
• Safely dispose of discards. To ensure pets and young children can’t get into garbage, be sure to wrap everything well and throw out of reach of little paws and hands.
What do you need to know about leftovers?
• According to the Mayo Clinic, you can safety keep leftovers for three to four days in the refrigerator. If you don’t think you’re likely to use leftovers within that timeframe, it’s best to freeze them.
• To avoid food poisoning, refrigerate leftovers promptly and don’t let them sit for more than two hours at room temperature.
• Refrigerate turkey and stuffing separately, rather than in one container.
What are the best uses for leftover turkey or ham?
You can quickly turn Thanksgiving leftovers into everyday meals by using either turkey or ham in soups, casseroles and sandwiches. With fresh new recipes, these ideas for leftovers are anything but boring.
• Sandwiches are always a big hit with leftovers. Put a new twist on a classic sandwich with this recipe idea. Open-faced sandwiches are another idea. With gravy, stuffing or potatoes and a spoonful of cranberry sauce, you can easily create a delicious hot meal for your family to enjoy. Looking for a healthier alternative? Consider a wrap instead of sandwich bread.
• Soups are an easy way to use leftover ham or turkey. Once cooked, soup can easily be frozen for use during the cold winter months. Check out this recipe for Creamy Mashed Potato and Turkey Soup.
• Individual potpies can be made with both ham and turkey. Step-by-step instruction are available at www.thenewlywedpilgrimage.com.
• Replace bacon or sausage with ham or turkey as a breakfast meat for a change of pace.
Additional suggestions for leftovers:
• Consider making individual meals for elderly neighbors who might not get out for the holiday. Include a choice of meat, samples of all the fix-ins and a slice of pumpkin pie for a nice treat.
• Encourage your guests to create plates to take home for themselves. Often, family members and friends say they enjoy eating out for Thanksgiving but miss the leftovers when they don’t cook at home.
• Not a fan of leftovers? Don’t overcook. Keep your meals in proportion to your number of guests to ensure less or no waste.
Do have a favorite recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers? Feel free to share! Happy Thanksgiving.
Be Wize & Be Healthy