A THANKSGIVING MESSAGE: USE THOSE LEFTOVERS

The snow has come as predicted, and suddenly it looks like winter. My husband, Clif, and I will have plenty of shoveling to do as we shovel everything by hand. Nature’s gym, as we like to say. The dog will be in snow-dog heaven. He likes nothing better than to leap at the snow as we shovel, and by the evening, even his Sheltie energy will be spent.

So far, we still have power, and we are hoping for the best. But we are prepared. Clif has started a fire in the wood furnace, we have plenty of water set aside, and we bought extra batteries for the portable radio. We’ve even downloaded an audio library book—The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear—on Clif’s tablet so that we can listen to it tonight if the power is out. Squinting to read by lantern light has become too arduous for these old eyes. With the audio book, I can listen and knit. Clif and I are thinking that even when there is no threat of a power outage we might start listening to audio books on his tablet as a pleasant way to spend the long, dark evenings of winter.

This morning, in the New York Times, I came across a piece by Tamar Adler that should be of interest to everyone. It’s called “Thanksgiving Thrift: The Holiday as a Model for Sustainable Cooking.” Adler’s basic premise is that we should cook like it’s Thanksgiving all year round, not so much in terms of amounts but rather in the way we delight in using and eating all the leftovers. Not only would cooking this way be thrifty, but it would also a real time saver as we wouldn’t have to come up with a new meal every single night.

Hear, hear! Yesterday, I wrote about making gravy. What I didn’t write about is what I did with the stewed meat from the turkey legs and the leftover stock. Some of the turkey was put in the refrigerator, and for two nights we had a meal of shredded turkey in barbecue sauce over rice. The rest of the turkey was tucked in the freezer, as was the stock, and with them I am planning to make a turkey and rice casserole with mushrooms and peas. I was hoping to use sage from an outside pot, but I think the snow has dashed my hopes of doing that.

Adler has written a book called An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, which I have just ordered through interlibrary loan. Although I try very hard to make good use of our food, I am always keen to learn new tips and techniques. Also, sometimes things slip by, and I’m hoping An Everlasting Meal will inspire to me to be even more vigilant.

Now, on to this snowy day!