Home Uncategorized Having a Plan Allows You to Turn Leftovers Into Planned-Overs

Having a Plan Allows You to Turn Leftovers Into Planned-Overs


Jean Ince | Domestic Columnist

Thanksgiving Day in
America is a time of offer
thanks, a time of family
gatherings, and of course,
those wonderful holiday
meals. It is a time of turkey,
dressing, pumpkin pie and
all the other foods and traditions
that go along with
it. And of course, there is
the pleasure of having leftover
turkey to enjoy after
the meal. If you are like me
though, after a couple of
turkey sandwiches, I am
ready for something different.
You can continue to
enjoy the leftovers by
planning a variety of after
holiday meals using your
leftover turkey. All it takes
is a little know how.
Start by following basic
food safety rules after the
holiday meal has been eaten.
The first rule of thumb
is to debone the turkey and
refrigerate all leftovers in
shallow containers within
2 hours of cooking. Why
just two hours? Because
bacteria that cause food
poisoning can multiply to
undesirable levels on perishable
food left at room
temperature for longer
than that.
If you choose to save
the carcass for soup later,
be sure to refrigerate or
freeze it in a large zip-top
baggie or other freezer safe
Secondly, it is important
to keep in mind that
leftover turkey will not last
indefinitely. You must use
leftover turkey within 3 to
4 days, stuffing and gravy
within 1 to 2 days, or freeze
these foods. To safely reheat
leftover gravy, bring
it to a rolling boil before
If you choose to put the
leftovers away for longer
storage, package items in
freezer paper or heavyduty
aluminum foil and
freeze them. Proper wrapping
will prevent “freezer
burn,” those white driedout
patches on the surface
of food that make it tough
and tasteless. Also, don’t
forget to date your packages
and use the oldest
ones first. Frozen turkey,
stuffing, and gravy should
be used within 1 month.
Probably one of the
rules of thumb that many
people do not follow is the
length of time needed to
reheat their turkey. Turkey
should be reheated to an
internal temperature of
165 degrees F or until hot
and steaming throughout.
These guidelines should
also be followed if you are
using leftover turkey in
another recipe.
Enjoy this holiday season
with family and friends
and remember all those
who make sacrifices for us
so that we can live freely
to celebrate holidays such
as this.
For more information on
holiday meal preparation
or food safety, contact me,
Jean Ince, at the Howard
County Extension Service
at 870-845-7517 or visit
our office located on the
second floor of the courthouse.
If you have a food
question on Thanksgiving
Day, you can call the Meat
& Poultry Hotline toll-free
at 1-888-674-6854 or e-mail
them at mphotline.fsis@
Recipe of the Week
Here is a great way to
use leftover cooked turkey.
Easy to make and will be
delicious on cold evenings.
Turkey-Vegetable Soup
3 cans low-sodium, fatfree
chicken broth
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup carrots, thinly
½ cup onion, chopped
2 cups cooked turkey,
¾ cup wide egg noodles
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley,
¼ teaspoon ground
black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
In a large stock pot over
medium heat, combine
chicken broth, celery, carrots
and onion. Bring to
a boil, reduce heat, cover
and simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in turkey, noodles and
parsley. Return to a boil,
reduce heat, cover and simmer
for 10 minutes or until
noodles are tender. Season
with black pepper and salt.

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