Long after the guests have left and you've put your feet up on the crumb-bespeckled coffee table, your refrigerator will still be full. It's not just tradition to make certain foods on Thanksgiving, it's tradition to make a lot of them.
But by the Saturday after Thanksgiving, eating leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast no longer feels like a childhood fantasy. It feels more like you might not ever want to see another pumpkin pie, not ever. For the week following the holiday, Tupperware containers filled to the brim with stuffing, turkey and sweet potatoes crowd the shelves of your fridge and your conscious mind.
Isn't the point of Thanksgiving to be grateful? What kind of person would throw away three pounds of stuffing? To placate your moral compass, we've devised three menus that will help you get Thanksgiving leftovers on the table and out of your life for good (or, until next year).
**Thanksgiving Tupperware-Be-Gone Menus**
MENU 1: A Meat-Lite Sunday Night Dinner
First, shred up all that maddeningly dry turkey and throw it into a comforting, lemony garlic soup. Next, transform your sweet potatoes and other wayward root vegetables into these versatile and delicious pancakes. Finally, get rid of any leftover cans of pumpkin and bowls of pecans by using both up in a chocolatey quickbread. Nearly painless, eh?
MENU 2: Turkey-off-the-Mind Brunch
Since stuffing is like toast, but better, we use it to bulk up this breakfast (after all, once you've expanded your stomach, there's really no going back) to serve to any houseguest or hungry friends. First, reinvigorate your stuffing by baking it in the oven with a few eggs -- the oozy yolk will be better than any gravy, and after a few days of pie for breakfast, you'll be ready for it. To accompany this heavy hangover-cure brunch, chop up all those uneaten veggies from the crudité platter for this not-too-heavy vegetable hash.
MENU 3: Jewish Deli Lunch
The key to enjoying your leftovers to the utmost is to turn them (at least by Saturday) into something that doesn't remind you of the chaotic, overlarge Thanksgiving meal. Rather than recreate Thursday, repurpose that beautifully sliced turkey -- which you think you might not be able to eat another bite of -- to improvise new dishes that are better suited for Saturday. A turkey Reuben, with its pungent sauerkraut and nutty Swiss, seems just the thing to snap you out of indulgent holiday eating and back into everyday goodness, without leaving those awesome leftovers to fester in the fridge. If your sweet potatoes are in any shape to be re-purposed, try making this cheesy twice-baked side. Otherwise, eat 'em as is -- or open a bag of good old potato chips.