Posted on Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 at 7:00 am
Thanksgiving is celebrated with a feast of food. Often, there is more food served than the guests will be able to eat. What are you going to do with the leftovers? If you keep food safety in mind, there are plenty of ways to distribute and use up Thanksgiving leftovers.
Food Safety News notes that leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours of preparation. Food that has been left out of the refrigerator for more than two hours could be unsafe to eat. Keep this in mind as you are clearing away the remains of Thanksgiving dinner.
Leftovers that have been safely refrigerated (within two hours of preparation) should be eaten as soon as possible. They will only last about three or four days. Obviously, if something looks or smells “wrong” – don’t eat it!
Ready to eat the leftovers? They should be reheated to 165 degrees F. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature. Gravies should be brought to a rolling boil.
Share with Guests
There are many people who love leftovers. Make a general announcement that you will be happy to send some leftovers home with guests. Those who want them will take you up on that offer!
Follow the food safety guidelines. For best results, take the foods that the guest wants to take home out of the refrigerator shortly before he or she is ready to go home. Package up a portion for your guest to take home. Rest assured that the guests who requests leftovers will actually eat them. That’s better than having all that food go directly into the trash.
Make a Specialty Sandwich
This is the time of year when sandwich shops offer seasonal sandwiches that include many of the foods that people eat at Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of spending money on those, why not use up your leftovers and make your own version?
You will need some bread. Pick whatever kind you like best. Add in slices of turkey, some stuffing, and some cranberry sauce. Some people may want to add a little gravy to the sandwich. You don’t have to be an amazing chef to whip up some sandwiches for you and your family to enjoy.
Try a Casserole
One way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers is to present them in a different way. People get bored of turkey sandwiches after they’ve had a few. You can put the leftover turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes gravy, green beans, and maybe even the cranberries in a casserole. Not sure how to do that? Kraft has a recipe for “Thanksgiving Leftovers Casserole” that you can follow.