posted by Matt W on December 14th, 2011

There is only one thing better than holiday meals, holiday leftovers. I love leftovers. They are way better than the actual meal. My son is off at college and my wife asked what he wanted for the Thanksgiving meal, and he said “I want a big enough turkey that I can have a huge turkey and mashed potato sandwich the next day!” While I personally don’t go for the starch on starch sandwich like my son, leftovers are indeed wonderful.

The staple of holiday leftovers is turkey. When we were first married, my wife and I used to make a turkey every once in a while just so we could have real turkey sandwiches. No waiting around for the holidays for us. After we had a couple kids, the last thing we wanted to do when we didn’t have to was make a huge, time consuming meal so the turkey sandwiches were limited to the holiday season. I personally like a little cranberry on mine, but apparently mashed potatoes are the way to go for the younger generation. The current question regarding leftovers is how long is a turkey leftover actually still good? Can the turkey be a little slimy and still be sandwichable? (I just put that last line in for my wife to gross her out a bit, if she happens to read this. Turkey has never lasted more than a day or so as a leftover in our house.) Mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, great salads; the week after the holidays are a leftover bonanza!

On to my favorite leftover, PIE! While I like chocolate, it isn’t even in my top ten best desserts as pies take up all ten slots on my list (crème brulee might actually slide in there someplace as well). Pie is excellent for any meal or snack. I personally like apple pie anytime but there is nothing better than a big slice for breakfast (or for that matter late night with whip cream). Berry pies are amazing, no further words are needed. Around the holidays there is always pumpkin and pecan, with pumpkin being the true winner in that battle. I usually save the pecan for last. The whole matter of how long you can keep a pie and not have it send you to the hospital with food poisoning is a bigger issue at my house than the slimy turkey debate. As I usually make far too many pies (to be eaten on the actual holiday, there is no such thing as too many pies), there are always multiple leftover pies. My wife, the “spoiled food Nazi” is always threatening to throw them away. When I was a kid, we had pies sit out in the open for days and we still ate them and nobody died (that I know of). I figure a few weeks in the refrigerator is no problem (Note to self: make even more pies next Thanksgiving). As my daughter and I saddled up to two huge slices the other night (she had pumpkin, I had apple), she said, ”We always need to have real whip cream in the house, just in case we have pie.” She is indeed brilliant; my pie genes showed through that day.

So while sitting down to the table for a holiday feast is a great experience, the food is almost secondary. The real food holiday is the following days of true leftover nirvana. And pie!

File Under King of the Castle