Holiday Leftovers are a Hot Commodity – Plan Accordingly

When you are counting on leftovers to make your meals for the next day or two, it is important to actually try to shoot for certain dishes, ingredients, and the amounts you'll need to produce your meals. Here are some great reminders so you can plan for the leftovers you need for the meals after the feast is over. Plan to Increase Your Production You know it is going to happen. Certain leftovers disappear faster than others, some even before they get a chance to cool off in the refrigerator. If you know this is going to happen, because it's happened year after year, then plan ahead. Assume your family will gobble up what they have in the past, and just make more. That way you can put away enough for your leftover meals and you and your family can help themselves to the rest. If one of your favorite casseroles is scalloped potatoes and ham casserole, and the ham seems to disappear into sandwiches the day after the feast, then by all means, make a bigger ham, or even two smaller hams. Since you have the oven going anyway, why not cook two; one for your holiday dinner and one for leftovers. That way your family can devour the leftover ham and you'll have another supply to turn into your casserole. When the stuffing disappears from the turkey the first night, it can be disappointing the next day when you're looking to make those wonderful deep fried cheese stuffing sausage balls. So, while you're working on one batch of stuffing for the bird, make a second batch and put it in a casserole dish. You'll now have enough stuffing leftover for your treat the next day. Plan to Have the Right Extras Along with the amount you need to create meals with your leftovers, comes the actual ingredients you'll need to put your favorite leftover meals together. Not all flavors work well with others, and not all ingredients compliment certain dishes. If you plan out the meals you want to prepare with your holiday leftovers, you can tweak the dishes themselves so they fit in with your plans. For instance, if you want to fill the freezer with little stuffed muffin cups, you'll have to decide what you want to stuff them with. A simple mixture of chopped turkey and stuffing will mean you need leftovers of both. Not only will you want enough turkey and stuffing, but you'll need to consider the type of stuffing you make for your holiday meal. Will it work in your stuffed muffin cups? If you're making an apple walnut stuffing, or an oyster stuffing, it may not be the right ingredient for your stuffed muffin cups. You can see how planning how your dishes will translate into your leftover meals is important. If cranberry citrus glazed pork tenderloin is on the menu the following day, you will want to be sure to have cranberry orange relish on the menu. If you're choosing between corn or broccoli for your holiday meal, and cheesy broccoli soup is on the menu the next day, then by all means choose the broccoli. Of course, if you plan on making corn chowder, too, then make corn along with the broccoli and you'll have what you need for your leftover meals. If you don't plan your leftover dishes ahead, there is no guarantee that you will actually have any of the leftovers there when you need them for your next dish. Or, you may be looking at your marshmallow, brown sugar, walnut, and maple syrup sweet potato casserole and realize that your plan to make savory sweet potato soup just went out the window. Yes, casting the players for your holiday meal means planning the right amount, and the right type. This will help ensure that the repeat performances are big hits, just like the original!


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