What to do with Thanksgiving leftovers... or who doesn't like more pie?

The obvious thing to do with Thanksgiving leftovers is to make turkey sandwiches with cranberry-orange relish. Some people in my house truly believe with every ounce of their being that turkey sandwiches with cranberry-orange relish are the whole reason we fix Thanksgiving dinner in the first place. In fact, there have been some years when we have been away for Thanksgiving without sufficient leftovers that we have come home, cooked some turkey and whipped up some relish to satisfy the cravings.

What? You do not make cranberry-orange relish?! Well, you need to, because how else will you make the delicious sandwiches mentioned above? It's easy, here's how J.'s aunt taught me to make it. Take a bag of fresh cranberries, wash them, and pick out any bad ones. Then take a navel orange and chop it coarsely. Now put all of this into your food processor, add sugar to taste (I usually put in ~1/2 cup) and let it get chopped until everything is chopped fine.

But if you have had turkey and cranberry-orange relish sandwiches for lunch and all your bread is gone and people think they still need dinner, you need another plan. This one involves the second biggest reason my people enjoy Thanksgiving dinner... pie. When faced with a cupboard that was pretty bare except for dinner leftovers, I decided to put it all together and make pot pie. Here's what I did...

First,  take all the rest of the turkey off the bones. (Then save the bones for soup later in the week.) Next, get out your creamed onions and leftover gravy. (Doesn't everyone make creamed onions? You need to find Aunt Nellie's onions and go from there.) Put these in a large pot on the stove and heat. Add in the turkey and whatever else you have available. We added some frozen vegetables from the freezer. Heat it all up. It's the easiest pot pie filling you will ever make.

Now you need pie crust. I made enough for three pies last night and it was about perfect. Put the filling in your prepared pie crust, cover with the second crust, cut some slits on the top, and put it in the oven. I baked them for 40 minutes at 425 and they turned out great.

Now we had dinner and used up nearly all of the leftovers. Adding the leftover green salad completed the meal and knocked off another leftover. For dessert? You guessed it... pie. (Nothing pleases my family more than an entire meal made completely out of pie.) There were still some pumpkin, pecan, and apple pies left for dessert.

So what's left? Some stuffing and potatoes and a little dessert pie. I imagine that lunch will take care of those things. Not bad, huh? Two days after Thanksgiving and we have used up the leftovers.

Yummy, yummy, yummy


c smith said…
Yep, we're big fans of Thanksgiving leftovers here, too. We celebrated at my sister's instead of our house this year and my kids' big concern was that we wouldn't take enough leftovers home!
We love turkey pot pie. Turkey hash (diced sweet potatoes fried up with diced turkey and a little onion) and turkey salad sandwiches (turkey, pecans, cranberries and a little mayo)are also a hit.

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