London Hotels Articles

May 28, 2010

What to do with left over holiday food

Through the years, we always enjoyed special holiday meals with our family. As the kids grew up and, one at a time, went out on their own, we continued the tradition as long as possible. Finally, it all ended. For this past holiday, our main dinner was the usual turkey with all the trimmings. However, instead of seven to ten participants, now there were just we two empty-nester parents.

One daughter was celebrating the holiday with her husband and kids in London, while a son and his wife hiked the Great Wall near Beijing. Another son is a recently recalled Navy Reserve lieutenant who’s stationed at the Navy base in Pearl Harbor. He, his wife and kids were invited to join his in-laws in Honolulu for the holidays, but we hope they’ll visit us just as soon as his deployment ends. Maybe, he promises, next Christmas.

So, this year we were left with a huge and almost complete turkey, as well as gift cookies, cakes, candy and many other items left over from the holiday season. What to do with all this food was a dilemma. However, we had to do first things first, which meant taking care of the very perishable big bird and its stuffing and veggies. That had to be accomplished within 24 hours of when it all left the oven.

With a sharp carving knife, we boned and cut the turkey into 12 individual servings of about six ounces each. We put each into a small three-pocket plastic tray along with single portions of leftover stuffing and veggies, closed the lids, then stuffed all into a larger plastic bag and put them in the freezer. They’ll serve as quickie microwave meals throughout January, maybe into February if freezer burn doesn’t get them first.

Because we enjoy soup and salad lunches, we cut up the turkey bones and cooked them along with leftover fresh onions, carrots and celery. We added some cooked rice, and the brew made a dozen single servings, each in an eight-ounce plastic cup. They were placed in a big plastic bag and then into the freezer along with the turkey leftovers.

With the rush job completed, there wasn’t so much of a hurry to deal with the non-perishable leftovers. And there was a big stack of them. This year we had several large tins of fancy cookies, as well as two big rum fruitcakes, sent as gifts from our guilt-ridden absent family members and others.

With no kids around our house to eat them or the other other cakes and candy, we donated all to a local branch of the Salvation Army for its food kitchen for the homeless. All right, confession time. We didn’t donate every single piece of our gift goodies. We like to enjoy a cookie or two on cold winter nights.

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