Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Giving Thanks, again.

We are usually very lucky at holiday time to have a meal with my parents and a meal with my in laws. In fact, I've never hosted a dinner myself because of this. That means I am never left with any of the delicious leftovers one hopes for after Thanksgiving or Christmas. My Mom usually sends over a care package, but my mother in law is a little more conservative with the offering. She is a very generous woman, but she hesitates to offer food that is left over in fear of offending us. It's hardly offensive to be given leftovers in my opinion, but it's been hard to get that message across as I am quite a polite dinner guest and not one to ask for much.

This year, I overcame my usual politeness and expressed my appreciation for leftovers. Especially after tasting her phenomenal ham. As I puttered around the kitchen after dinner, trying to help tidy things up, I finally came right out and asked her what she was planning on doing with them all. I felt slightly rude, but I did it in the most delicate way (and all the while knowing she is not a fan of leftovers and they usually get tossed in the bin-gasp!)
Of course she was thrilled to pack up over 2 pounds of her thinly sliced ham and a small package of turkey meat.

Where Glen's family is not quite fond of leftovers or the reincarnation of foods, my family is. I remember my mother making scalloped potatoes with ham, turkey turnovers, hot turkey sandwiches and more. I actually liked those dishes more than the turkey dinners themselves. In our house, nothing was ever tossed away. It usually just morphed into something even better.

I meant to make some dinners with the leftovers the week following our Thanksgiving dinner, but it was a hectic time so I just froze my goodie bag. Until this weekend, that is.
I turned to Nigella Lawson's Feast with the vague memory of Pasta with ham and peas. I found it in the Kids' Feast chapter and got busy.

It was possibly the easiest pasta dish ever. It was creamy and delicious and the smoky ham was perfect in it. The recipe is here.

I made a huge bowl of salad to go with the pasta. It was kind of like an antipasto platter thrown in a bowl with red leaf lettuce. I picked up some Genoa Salami from the Italian deli and had it cut in one thick slice, about half an inch thick. I cut it into cubes and added it to the bowl with some cubed caciocavallo cheese, white kidney beans, chopped tomatoes and made a red wine vinaigrette. Yum.

I still have turkey in the freezer and this Thanksgiving may just keep giving and giving.


Kelly-Jane said...

When it's Christmas time I freeze our leftover turkey and ham, and then make Nigella's pie from Feast - we enjoy it a lot more a couple of weeks later :)

Thanks for the reminder about that pasta dish - will have to make it again soon.

Aimée said...

Sounds great. I love your big salad!