Over a lifetime, the fatty within (and without) has tried to convince me that Thanksgiving food is both good and worth all the effort, but at this age and stage I am finally willing to live in my truth; I will give you a hundred Thanksgiving feasts for just one 4th-of-July BBQ! Don't get me wrong. It's not that I abstain from the bounty of the Thanksgiving table but I am far from inclined to overindulge on turkey and dressing; any average Wednesday afternoon will find me much more in need of elasticized trousers. What I do love, however, is leftovers. Within the remainder of chilled, uneaten scraps I find an endless source of creative culinary possibilities. Even in the dull, grey leftovers of Thanksgiving food, I see a turkey transformation just waiting to happen.
|As in all things, I find inspiration in my Kitsch-en Kounter forebears.|
It seems that Turkey Tetrazzini is so retro that it has become "now-tro" and therefore "out-ro" by Kitsch-en Kounter standards. I decided to turn the flotsam and jetsam of our Thanksgivings past into "Thanksgiving Leftover Luncheon Loaf." I'm pretty sure that a wise man once said, "We eat with our ears first." And what sounds more appetizing than "Leftover loaf?"
I had my materials. I had my inspiration. Who knew that in creating this sweet-and-savory, layered delight that the hardest part would be finding pristine bread unmarred by an automatic slicing machine? Two bakeries and four grocery stores later, I couldn't find a single loaf not already cut to ribbons. The pendulum of preferences in baked goods has swung so far in one direction that now we'll laud the latest marvel by saying, "That's the greatest thing since unsliced bread!" Eventually, I had to settle for a trimmed-down boule (#wackytackyworldproblems). Once I had the bread situation under control, it was time to fulfill my obligation to the fillings.
|Layer 1: Turkey Salad (leftover turkey, apples, almonds, dried cranberries, and tarragon)|
|Layer 2: Dressing|
Is there an angle from which leftover dressing becomes photogenic?
If so, I haven't found it. Our family recipe for sage dressing includes
onions, apples, dried cranberries, dried apricots, and roasted pecans.
|Layer 3: Cranberry Sauce|
I stabilized the homemade cranberry sauce with a bit of cream cheese.
|A bird's eye view|
Nesting on a bed of parsley, I only wish I could have surrounded the
Thanksgiving Leftover Luncheon Loaf with hard-boiled turkey eggs!
|A cross section of the Thanksgiving Leftover Luncheon Loaf|
and the Pecan Praline Pumpkin Bread made for dessert.
As they say, one good loaf deserves another!
Thinking that by adding a few fresh herbs and a loaf of bread I had somehow reduced the richness of Thanksgiving dinner is probably one of my greatest delusions. In the chance to rework the leftovers of what is my least favorite meal of the year, however, I found something in all of that heavy food for which I am truly thankful. Maybe next year I'll just make turkey jerky!
"Jerky Turkey" (1945)
Tell the truth, have you ever frosted your sandwich? What is the best thing you've ever made out of leftovers? How will you celebrate Thanksgiving this year? We think that wherever one may live in the world, it is never a bad idea to reflect upon those things for which one is particularly grateful. Mr. Tiny is especially thankful for his family and his family of wacky tacky turkey necks. Thanks for your love, loyalty, and support!!!
From all of us to all of you, a very Happy Thanksgiving!