Jared Hollier is a man after my own heart. Or, stomach, as it were. Read on, dear reader, you’ll see why.
He is also hilarious and biblically artistic. Click on his site to see what the heck that means, exactly. Fair warning, you might want to carve out some serious time to do so, because trust me. You’ll get sucked in.
While everyone else is stampeding around Wal-Mart on this fine Friday, you can better yourself by reading his words and heeding them. Let us raise a turkey leg together.
First, let me say that Thanksgiving is hands down, without a doubt, my favorite holiday of the year. There are several reasons for this- we always have a family reunion on Thanksgiving, the weather here in southeast Texas is starting to turn chilly, great football games on TV.
But mostly it’s the food.
Fried turkey, mashed potatoes, Grandma’s cornbread dressing, pies and pies and pies. It is a celebration of indulgence, gluttony, and excess. In other words, it’s a celebration of America.
But every year, after the family is gone and the festivities are over, there’s one question that hangs like a fog over kitchens across the country: What are we gonna do with all these leftovers? Well, fair reader, that’s why I’m here. I’m no Paula Deen (though I am pudgy and southern) but I’ve got a few ideas for what to do with your excess holiday fare.
- Pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child
Samaritan’s Purse is a great organization that sends shoeboxes full of Christmas gifts to needy children around the world. While your friends and neighbors are filling their shoeboxes with the same old boring stuff (toys, soap, toothbrushes, dollar store hard candy) the recipient of your box will be the talk of the town. Picture the look on a child’s face when she is presented with a box full of deviled eggs and honey-glazed ham. Imagine the joy he’ll feel, chewing on a turkey leg while his friends look on in envy, having received only deodorant and Hot Wheels. It’s a great cause, and a great idea.
- Homemade Food Snow
As I mentioned before, I live in southeast Texas. Snow is scarce, which can be disheartening to children who grow up singing songs like “Let It Snow” and “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” They may dream of it, but it just doesn’t happen.
If that’s the case in your neck of the woods, here’s what you do: run your Thanksgiving leftovers through a food processor, spread the mixture out on a cookie sheet, and freeze. Once frozen, break it up, put it in Ziploc bags, then crush it until it has roughly the same texture as snow. Put it back in the freezer until you’re ready for the fun. Your kids will be stunned and thrilled Christmas morning when you break out your “homemade snow” and fulfill their dreams of a white Christmas!
Its icy consistency will yield itself to all the usual snowtivities. You can spread it on the floor and make foodsnow angels. Have a foodsnowball fight. Make a foodsnowman. What’s that? It’s melting? Well, drink up, playa- because it’s also delicious! (Tip: turkey meat and mashed potatoes are the best choice, since they’re the right color, but don’t be afraid to use cranberry sauce, peas, etc. to give your snow a colorful, whimsical feel!)
- Thanksgiving Casserole
I wasn’t planning on giving recipe ideas, but this one is just too good not to share. It’s super easy, and gives you the taste of a Thanksgiving feast in every bite. You simply layer all your leftover food in a 9×13 baking dish. You may start with ham on the bottom, then creamed corn, candied yams, pumpkin pie filling, green bean casserole, sliced deviled eggs, top it off with turkey, gravy, and shredded cheese (of course). Cover with foil, and bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Every bite you take will remind you of why this is the greatest holiday in the greatest country in the world. (Either that, or you’ll puke violently and ruin your carpet.)
Whatever you decide to do with your leftovers, I hope you have a great holiday weekend. And remember to be thankful always, in all circumstances, because even if your family is weird, and your house is too small, and your kids smell like some kind of sweaty foot monster, you’ve got a lot to be thankful for.