Gourmet Leftovers

I have a confession to make. I did not make Thanksgiving Dinner.  This was a first for me, but seemed a wise choice as we busy ourselves getting ready for Joe’s next big surgery.  I opted to order a turkey baked in a brick oven from a Turkish grill near us. Stuffng, potatoes, green beans, shepherd’s bread and baklava rounded out the menu!  Our son brought his homemade blackberry pie and I added some Pumpkin Cranberry Spice Haagen Daaz.  That was it.  I didn’t make pumpkin and pecan pies.  No focaccia bread.  No sweet potato balls.  Nary a green bean casserole.  And we loved it!  We relaxed, had more time for putting up the Christmas tree in the afternoon, and enjoyed each other.  That is not to say I will do it that way from now on, but it was a good choice this year.  No, I did my cooking AFTER Thanksgiving, getting in some kitchen therapy with leftovers. 

First, I made Shepherd’s Pie using gravy, turkey, vegetables and a small amount of stuffing for the filling.  Topped with cream mashed potatoes and baked until brown and crusty, it was delicious.  Then, a turkey bake with layers of stuffing, turkey and cream of chicken soup dressed with cranberry sauce.  Yummy.  But my favorite idea came from remembering how I loved for Daddy to make me fried mashed potatoes when I was a little girl and he had a cafe in the bus station in Jacksonville, Texas.  He would simply spoon up some potatoes, add some chopped onion and brown it on the grill.  Later, potato pancakes, German style, became a favorite.  The big pancakes I created for this dish are a mix of the two.  To make them, I added 2 eggs to roughly 2 cups of mashed potato and chopped green onion, browned them in butter in a cast iron skillet.  Topped with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg, I can tell you they didn’t last long!