Friday, November 9, 2012

Leftovers and Thanksgiving

A few people had questions so I thought I'd answer them here. Someone asked if I add extra to the dish to have planned leftovers for lunch. Yes, I do. I make sure that there's enough. Now, some meals just seem to grow as the children aren't big fans of what we're having. :D They'll thank me later. Have planned leftovers just makes it sooooo much easier than turning around and having a separate lunch.  I keep a leftover shelf and keep a list somewhere, if needed, of what we had when and so I'll know when to throw them out. I have this menu here so the leftovers list is less needed but I keep one anyway. If I had a nifty dry erase for the side of the fridge, I'd put it there.  I currently have a cork board that I post lists on.

Someone asked how to have Thanksgiving economically and with a small oven. I suppose it depends on what your traditional meal would include. Here it includes dressing. You can do Stove Top types but for Thanksgiving I like cornbread dressing. Cornmeal is very cheap. If your recipe calls for broth, use the broth from the turkey dripping or use bouillon cubes. Onion and celery are cheap. Sage seasoning would be the priciest but it's not too bad.

We grow a lot of our own vegetables so I'd use our green beans. You stated you don't like canned, I'd make sure I had blanched some green beans and froze them. If you have to buy any vegetables, around here I'd buy them at rock-bottom prices ($1 a pound?).

Hmmm, in our family we've always had sweet potato casserole as a side. Sweet potatoes are cheap. Sugar is cheap. We get our eggs from the backyard when the chicken don't get out of the broken fence....or the dogs don't  steal the eggs for a snack.... I will look into repairing said fence tomorrow. Okay, so vanilla is normally pricey. I buy ours at Sam's If you can't find vanilla cheap, just pretend you put it in. Really, it's okay. I like pecans on my sweet potato casserole. If you can't find these, don't buy them. Just top with cheap marshmallows or mix together a topping without pecans.

Make the gravy from the dripping of the turkey. Take the drippings and put into a pan. Add some water to make your broth. Use this for the dressing and to add in for your gravy. Learn how to make a turkey gravy from this. You most likely can find this on youtube. I like to make ours  as giblet gravy. This is when you take the livers from the turkey, boil and chop them, chops some boiled eggs and add both to the gravy. YUMM! You can also add some sage to this gravy.

Rice and potatoes are cheap. So take your choice to have or don't have either since you have that dressing to have with your gravy.

What else? Ummmm, broccoli green bean casseroles can be pricey but this is your one splurge dish. Find a good sale on your broccoli or frozen green beans, cream of soups and eggs if you have to buy them. You can top with crushed crackers or those french fry onions. Whatever you normally do.

Make a special cake or pie. You don't have to have a dessert buffet to make it special. One or two special desserts is enough.

Now, like I said, you can skimp on vanilla. You can also skimp on cheese. If you're short an egg but have mayo, substitute with mayo on savory dishes. You don't have to have fancy toppings for casseroles. I've made the casserole recipes plenty of times and skipped the topping all together. Cut back on your cheese.

With all of this, it does seem like a lot but you know, we always have leftovers! Lots and Lots of leftovers! So you can have at least one other meal off from your Thanksgiving meal and perhaps more. Use your turkey for a soup or stew. Leftover dressing or potatoes is good for another kind of main casserole. Freeze what you won't eat. It will be nice for later.

You can still have a special meal with your family and make wonderful memories. No matter what recipes you like, if you need to find ways to cut corners. Afterall, it's not the meal that's so much important but having ones dear to you closeby to share.

Using a small oven is doable. It will just take longer. A good investment when you have a little extra money is an electric roaster. You can use it to bake your turkeys in for years to come. I also use mine for doing small things like chicken or casseroles or dried beans. I don't know how small your oven is but you can use small pans for your dressing or casseroles.

Whatever your meal consists of this Thanksgiving, I pray that it is special for you and that all tummies and hearts are content. :D


Anonymous said...

Thos os a wonderful, inspirational post! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Cant wait for Thanksgiving left-overs!!!!!! I'm sure this page encouraged Lots of people. So many are struggling :( However, our hope is NOT in the government.
Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!


Vicki said...

Oh, we are so looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner and Thanksgiving leftovers! We bought our turkey on sale today. :) I love all your tips. We are keeping our meal simple, and we are only making two desserts-pumpkin pie and an oreo dessert.

Have a great week!


donna said...

Such good tips. We are doing Thanksgiving at our oldest daughters. I am bringing homemade rolls, pumpkin pie and the makings for Angel punch. Enjoy your day and God bless.

Cathy said...

What a great post and so much great information.

Thinking of you my friend and love ya,
p.s. Only 2 more weeks until Jordie is due...we are SO excited!!