Recently, Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving. Like always, I worked but I managed to swing some family time through it all. It was lovely for I got to spend it with my favorite uncle! But aside from that, there was plenty of food where it would be strange to whip out the camera and snap pictures. Besides, my aunt got to the turkey with the electric knife before I could sneak pictures. But the sentiments here is the same. Thanksgiving is a time for us to get together with family and friends–those we care about and celebrate each other. For Christians, it is to thank God for life and happiness and for everything we take for granted. For others, it is a time to take off works and celebrate our families and friends-those we don’t get to see as often as we would like. There is good food, laughter (I hope) and a sense that we belong to a bigger part of a puzzle in our lives, a glad whole. There is tons of food–turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potato, veggies, snacks–but if you’re from the Caribbean there is a slew of native food we cook like Jerk Chicken, Rice and Peas, Roasted Corn, Greens and that’s just a part of it. We eat until we are ready to pop needing someone to desperately rub our tummies.
Then the next morning you wake up and you open the fridge and thing what in the world am I going to do with all this food? Well, aside from the obvious that is. But lets face it, if your family is anything like mine, there is no way you can eat all the food, jammed into that fridge before it starts going bad and as a person, there is only so much turkey you can eat before you start gagging at the thought of more turkey. So what do you do?
Here are some tips to help you out.
- Before your dinner party, go out and buy some Tupperware. When your guests are leaving, ask them if they’d like to take some food with them and give them what they want, within reason, to take with them in one of the containers you bought. Sure, it may be a little pricey but it’s worth it. You won’t have a fridge about to burst at the seams and food going bad on you and your guests has lunch or snack or dinner for the next day. Its win-win!
- That giant turkey that you barely touched – Slice the turkey down the middle, stick the untouched half into a freezer bag and drop it into the freezer. If its frozen it will last a while and it won’t spoil. This can also be done with the ham – you can take it out at a later date, let thaw and use for sandwiches.
- The food that you believe will go first, eat those first – spice them up by making different alternatives – use veggies like broccoli, celery, cauliflower and the like for stir fry. Drop them into a wok or a frying pot, toss ’em around with some onions, tomatoes and green and red peppers with a splash of soy sauce, ground pepper and thyme. You can add bite size pieces of turkey or ham but either way it could be fun.
- I know, after thanksgiving the last thing you probably want is a bunch of people back in your house-you want a break to just sleep in, let your feet rest but invite people over, do not cook anything new. Sure, maybe bake a cake or get some ice-cream for desert but use what you have. Thanksgiving happens around the Baseball playoff season and the beginning of football season, have a tailgate party or something-that is a sure fire way of getting rid of all that yummy goodies.
- Or to avoid the build up of food, accept an invitation to have dinner at someone else’s place for a change – offer to bring the turkey or the ham.
There are plenty of things that can be done to not make you go all crazy. There is always something to be done with left overs or that feeling of being too full. If by the next day you still feel full, do what I do, first thing in the morning, go for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a marathon or a year long–just a little walk to stretch your muscles and to work off some of that stuff you ate the day before. Then, when you return to your place, for your breakfast, have a cup of tea and a few crackers. This will help give you a few more hours in the day to allow that day after thanksgiving feeling to go away.
Here’s hoping these tips help you out at least a little bit. Have a happy Thanksgiving where ever you are in the world and whatever day you celebrate it on. And remember, thanksgiving isn’t just for Christians. use the day to celebrate your loved ones and your friends. Trust me, you won’t regret it…well, I hope.