JULIE STAFFORD: Leftovers


By Julie Stafford • Last Updated 1:30 pm on Monday, November 28, 2011

I’m a leftovers girl, culinarily speaking. And today is my all-time favorite for feeding this appetite. After all, the day after Thanksgiving I can make a mayo-turkey-cranberry sandwich. And it doesn’t get much better than that.
I know some folks can’t stomach the thought of eating the same dish a second time around, but I personally wouldn’t be able to pack kids’ school lunches or come up with a quick meal for myself if I didn’t rely them. Plus giving certain leftovers time to steep in their seasoning after the first consumption enhances their flavor times 10. Yum.
A logical person might think the obsession with Thanksgiving leftovers a little baffling. Particularly since holiday tradition has established that most people pig out to the point of discomfort the first time around. It makes no sense that these same foods would even sound palatable 24 hours later. But somehow they do. In fact, some of us start obsessing about them months before.
If truth be told, I’ll eat most anything as a leftover — sometimes more than once. Pasta, grilled meats, casseroles and soups are some of my favorites. My youngest daughter recently announced that when she lives on her own, she’s going to survive on day-old salads. And my son, who eats nonstop, grazes all day long on leftover chicken, hamburger and pizza.
My oldest daughter, however, has a different perspective. She’s been vegetarian for 11 years and doesn’t understand our love for leftovers. I can see why, though. No matter how you slice it, day-old tofu just doesn’t have the same allure as its animal-based counterparts. This year, she asked to cook Tofurky — otherwise known as the tofu version of turkey — for her holiday meal. And you have to admit, a sandwich made from mayo, day-old Tofurky and cranberry just doesn’t sound quite as good.

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