Why Thanksgiving leftovers are a turkey to eat

I get asked this question so often that by now I’ve come up with a few quick answers.

First, you have 15 days from the last day of Thanksgiving to Easter to consume the leftover food. If you don’t, the consequences may be dire.

For those who wish to come up with something else to do with the turkey and pumpkin pie, I’m going to give you the scientific answer.

First, let’s look at what humans do with food. On average, we ate 1,600 calories in the hours before Thanksgiving dinner, even though we had no real need for calories. But after dinner (and the feeding of the five or six critters), we were wiped out.

Later in the day, when we weighed in at a fun scale on a simple graph, we dropped from about 2,200 calories to just less than a pound. That means that we may not need as many calories in our diet from Thanksgiving through Easter (unless you count losing the day off from work, right?).

The turkey isn’t the only part of Thanksgiving that gets eaten up. The turkey leg has about 1,400 calories in it. The pumpkin pie has a similar amount of calories. Stuffing has about 1,300 calories.

No one is serious about it. Not only is that pie filling loaded with butter, sugar and fattening carbohydrates, but leftovers are often wimpy, lumpy and mushy. I know it sounds unromantic, but if you want a turkey dinner, make your own your food processor can be calibrated in seconds, and you can stock your pantry with delicious, make-ahead foods, like homemade bologna and sausage, as well as pulled pork, leftover meatballs and, yes, even potato salad!

Think about how many leftovers are left after Thanksgiving dinner these days! You don’t have to buy any Thanksgiving dinner. Leftovers eat themselves. And hey, I will still make the recipe I used last year. And when you buy the leftover turkey, it only needs one more thing: a shredder! No artificial additives, just a microwave or a food processor.

Pass the cranberry sauce and swap it out for homemade apple or pumpkin pie sauce. Or what about a can of port wine? I find port wine delicious! I make it into a Bloody Mary, and I’d be proud to serve it with homemade spicy fish soup and a cheese plate!

And on top of that, you can put your leftover stuffing in soups, casseroles and stews. And then there are only the leftovers you have to contend with on Easter Sunday.

Or maybe you decide to bake a turkey cone. I found some great recipes for turkey cones, and will share them with you soon!

Happy Holidays!

Jennifer Getzinger, AKA “Face of the Blog”, is the founder of Smart News Feed (www.SmartNewsFeed.com), one of the largest food and fitness blogs in the country.

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