Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Leftover Madness

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, it's time to dig out from all the leftover food.

There were a couple of big pots of turkey stock in the cold room that needed to be broken down into smaller containers, labeled and frozen. One down, one to go.

On Sunday, friends agreed to help out by actually eating some of the leftovers in the form of dinner--open-faced turkey sandwiches with cranberry relish and gravy on sweet potato bread. (More about that later).

Part of my reward for helping our friend Mike butcher his turkeys was a stewing hen he had in his freezer. I originally thought I'd make it the center of a coq au vin, but then used the dark meat in our paella. Yesterday I turned the rest of the bird into soup and, at daughter's request, that was last night's dinner, with carrots, peas and linguine noodles.

Most of the weekend was spent making client meals. The leftover meat from our 31-pound turkey was begging to be included. Presto-changeo, turkey-a-la-king. The sauce was especially delicious with the addition of our very potent turkey stock. Whole Foods had run out of puff pastry (I can't even count the number of times that happened), so along with a 4-cup container of turkey-a-la-king, I sent the client two thick slices of toasted country bread. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

Still, I have several pound of turkey meat to deal with. Into the freezer, perhaps? Or will inspiration strike somewhere where we least expect it?

Yesterday I was finally able to turn my attention to the bowl of green tomatoes I'd picked during the big garden cleanup a week ago. I'd stashed them in the cold room, but some were not so green anymore. The morning started with the assemblage of a big pot of the green tomato and apple chutney I wrote about earlier. A very heady aroma fills the kitchen when all those tomatoes and apples, brown sugar and cider vinegar, ginger and cinnamon, get to boiling on the stove top.

While the chutney bubbled away and reduced down to its delicious chunkiness, a client dinner for Wednesday demanded that I shop for and prepare a Jewish pot roast, or chollent. (I'll write about that tomorrow). So the chutney, one day later, is still in its pot on the stove, waiting to be reheated and canned. And let me count the other chores awaiting: A pot of turkey stock to freeze, pounds of turkey meat to dispose of, sundry leftover sidedishes that haven't even been completely inventoried yet...

Will it ever end?

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