Friday, November 27, 2015 • Thanksgiving, holiday, Gift Baskets, Infographics

What To Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers

A big highlight of Thanksgiving is of course the scrumptious feast! This meal, like no other, has the power to bring family, friends, and loved ones together no matter how far the journey.

You can just imagine: In the center of the table sits an heirloom platter with a mouth watering stuffed turkey just waiting to be carved, and not too far away- a bowl is pillowed high with velvety mashed potatoes daring everyone to dig in. Completing this perfect picture is grandma's famous pumpkin pie cooling on a nearby windowsill (the one whose aroma guided you from the street all the way to the front door).

Giving of thanks, fun conversation, and a great glass of wine- all play a role in creating the dearly held tradition of celebrating the many blessings in our lives.

After the cherished meal has ended, inevitably there's a table to clear, a kitchen to clean, and leftovers to pack up. Here comes the centuries old quandary many of us still face today: Discovering we have more leftovers (including unused grocery items) than either we or our guests will feasibly use.

We felt certain if we talked with some of our friends and employees, we'd uncover some unique ways to handle this common holiday dilemma in the 21st Century.

Unique ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers

Here are some of the new traditions folks shared with us that we thought you'd enjoy hearing about:

  • I check with charities and donate leftover food from our Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate.
  • We donate uncooked- perishable food items to charities that cook and serve food to those in need. There are many organizations and community kitchens you can choose from.
  • My girlfriends and I like to experiment and create new dishes using leftovers as ingredients. We also find hundreds of recipes online that use common holiday leftovers.
  • In recent years, our family has started donating leftover food to recycling farms. There are a lot of farms that use food scraps to create animal feed or organic compost. It's a great way to get the kids involved.
  • My neighbors and I use food scraps as compost for gardening. If you don't know how, you can look up composting on the internet, or talk to someone you know who has done it before, then set up a miniature composting pit in your own backyard.
  • There are also a number of websites and apps that can help connect you with charities and individual people looking for leftover food to distribute or consume. You can download their apps on your phone and get in touch with them. Many such charitable organizations also have a pickup service, so they can come to your doorstep and collect all the leftovers from your Thanksgiving feast.
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