We celebrated Thanksgiving twice this year. Two weeks before the day with very close friends and family. Then on the day with our children.
For the past couple years we have been hosting a Thanksgiving-weekend with friends. We get together two weeks Thanksgiving. That way we can all be together without interfering with our respective family festivities. We also celebrate a three wedding anniversaries and two birthdays then. It’s a Celebration Packed weekend 🙂
So on Thanksgiving Day, my husband and I usually spend it quietly at home. We have a small special meal. I watch football, crochet and relax. He hunts.
But this year our Miami children came home for the holiday! YAY!! It’s been six years since we celebrated Thanksgiving with all of our kids. And now we have two son-in-laws and a granddaughter to add to the mix. We were ALL very excited!
You know me. I was very busy in the kitchen. Between the two celebrations, I roasted over 40 pounds of turkey and made 5 pies from scratch. Two Pumpkin, then Cranberry Custard, Apple and Triple Fruit. (Watch for the Triple Fruit Pie recipe coming soon!). Happily, my friends are all comfortable in my kitchen. They made most of the side dishes for our special celebration weekend. And the kids all helped with our family Thanksgiving. But I was right in the mix of it anyway 🙂
Thanksgiving Leftovers, Twice
So what did I do with all those leftovers? I pretty much cooked some more! 😀
Both turkeys were cooked down to make stock. It is also an easy way to get all the extra meat off the bones. I fill the Nesco with water, add more onions, garlic and some spices and the turkey simmers for several hours. Later I strain the stock and refrigerate it to skim the fat off. The stock gets put into different size containers. The meat goes in freezer bags, 2 cups each.
I like to use different size containers for the stock for the different ways I’ll use it. Small 1 cup containers for cooking rice and whole grains. Big 4 cup containers for making soup. And 2 cups of meat is perfect for almost any recipe.
Between the two birds, I ended up with about 30 cups of stock and over 20 cups of meat! It all went in the freezer. Plenty to get us through the winter.
With some extra white meat, I made turkey lasagna. That is a MUST after every Thanksgiving. (Look for my Family Pleasing Turkey Lasagna recipe) I love it because we can eat it fresh or I can freeze it for later. It is great for I’m-too-tired-to-cook dinners or for lunch.
I made some applesauce quick bread with leftover Red Hot Cinnamon Applesauce. THAT turned out fantastic!
And with some other leftovers – stuffing, green beans, white meat and gravy – I made a casserole.
Thanksgiving At Our House
Having the house full of family and friends is my favorite part of any celebration. But being able to express my creative side, finding ways to enjoy the leftovers is a close second 😀
I hope you had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving, no matter when or who you celebrated with! Taking time to remember all we have, being thankful for life’s many gifts, big or small, is what the day is all about. It’s about counting our blessings.